I know there’s been a debate about whether Garnett should be next in line to have his number retired with the Celtics. After Paul Pierce’s wonderful and well deserved ceremony, it got me thinking. Beforehand, I had always felt as though the number of years you played for a team took precedent. For Garnett however, I think I would make an exception.
Quality over Quantity
What I mean is, the quality of his years with the Celtics have more weight than the quantity. He only spent six seasons in green compared to his 14 in Minnesota. In those six seasons, he averaged 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, shot 83% FT and 52% from the floor. And let’s not forget his contributions that led to two NBA Finals trips, winning one of them. Boston took the 2008 series 4-2, with Garnett posting a double-double (26 pts. 14 rebs) in Game 6. I know he dealt with a lot of injuries while with us, but it was only expected considering how many miles he already put on his body. After 14 seasons in Minnesota, we were lucky to see the production we did.
“But We Can’t Retire Everyone’s Number…”
And we aren’t asking to! Listen, Kevin Garnett came to us maybe a few years past his prime. He gave it everything he had, even through all the injuries. He helped Boston win their 17th NBA Championship in franchise history. Anyone who gets the opportunity to wear Celtic green knows it is a HUGE honor and that not everyone is brought into the fold here. When a player such as Garnett comes in and:
- puts up a double-double in just about EVERY playoff matchup in 2008
- becomes part of the reason Boston gets to raise a banner
He deserves to have his number retired. It’s not common for a player after 14 years with one team, to come in and help put another over the top. I mean, after 14 years, most players accept bench roles and decreased minutes. But not KG; he put in the work and it paid off. We should not only appreciate the hard work and dedication, but recognize it.
It’s not everyday we are reminded of the glory days brought to Boston by legends like Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish—the list goes on. But Garnett did that for us when he came to join Pierce and Allen as Beantown’s “big three”. It’s time too show some love to the Big Ticket. Besides, his #5 would look really good next to 34!
Cover image courtesy of UPI.com