Five years, two NBA Finals appearances, consistently one of the top teams in the East, All-Star appearances all around, and one championship ring all make up the time Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen spent as part of the Boston Celtics’ Big 3. With KG and Allen becoming free agents, the main question surrounding the Celtics this offseason is: “Have we seen the final Celtics game of the Big 3 era?”
“I wish we could have had healthy runs,” said Doc Rivers after the loss in Game 7 of the East Finals. “This team won a title; got to another one (in 2010), a Game 7 (vs. the Lakers), where they had a shot to win. We got to the Eastern Conference finals and one game away on the road (this year vs. the Heat), banged up. So I don’t know — because of really Kevin’s (knee) injury (in 2009), I don’t know if we could have gotten any more out of the group. I would have loved to have seen this team in this whole stretch where Kevin was injury-free.”
I asked Thad Young after the Celtics beat the Sixers in the second round if he thought the Big 3 era would be done after this season. He said, “Not sure about that. They are still exciting to watch and its exciting to play against them.”
Jodie Meeks echoed similar thoughts: “They are still some great players. Obviously three future Hall of Famers and they got a great point guard in Rajon Rondo.”
Rondo is coming into his own and could potentially carry the Big 3 to another championship run, but with reports that Garnett may retire and that Allen may look to join the Heat or the Knicks, this may have been the last season they are in Celtics’ green.
Having said that means this a good time to reminisce about the glory days of the Big 3; specifically at five of their top moments.
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5. RAY ALLEN BREAKS THE ALL-TIME THREE-POINT RECORD
Could it have been any more scripted? Reggie Miller, who previously held the record, was announcing the game for TNT and got to witness Allen break his record. Although Allen amassed the bulk of his threes in earlier stops with the Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle Supersonics, Celtics’ fans will forever remember him breaking the record in Celtics’ green.
4. CELTICS BEAT CHICAGO IN AN EPIC 2009 FIRST ROUND SERIES
Many have dubbed this series the best first round series of all time. With four overtime games, one game ending by a buzzer-beater and over 120 lead changes, have you ever seen a better first round series?
3. 2007-2008 SEASON
There was a lot of hype surrounding the Celtics once the Big 3 was assembled and the team lived up to it, posting the best record in the NBA (66-16) and rejuvenating a fan base. Ubuntu, the African Bantu word for collective success over individual achievement, became the Celtics’ rallying call as the team worked and won together, creating a magical season for Celtics’ fans.
2. THE 1ST PRESS CONFERENCE OF BIG 3 ERA
For Celtics’ fans, this was the moment that it all became real. Sure, the trades had already gone through. But to actually see KG and Allen, flanked by Pierce, talk about their expectations and hold up their jerseys left many Celtics’ fans dreaming of the championship banners that would be hanging from the already-crowded TD Garden rafters.
1. “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!”
KG is known for his fiery postgame interviews, but nothing he will or has ever said will beat this.
What was your favorite moment of Boston’s Big 3 era?
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