The Boston Celtics are set to retire Kevin Garnett’s #5 on March 13th, when they’ll face the Dallas Mavericks, as he will become the 24th player in the franchise’s history to have his jersey hanging in the rafters.
Garnett came to Boston in 2007 after 12 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, as it was there where he established himself as “The Big Ticket” with his electrifying play on both ends of the floor.
Garnett Made Immediate Impact in Boston
The Celtics put together a “Big Three” of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Garnett, which was a concept that was pretty much unheard of until Danny Ainge made it possible.
Boston put together the best single-season turnaround, as they went 66-16 a year after going just 24-58, ultimately finishing the deal in the 2008 NBA Finals over the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite that being their only ring, they proved to be a tough out in the Eastern Conference for years to come, as they took the Lakers to seven games in the 2010 Finals.
Because of how well that team was put together, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t figure them out come postseason time despite putting up the best record in the league, as that inspired LeBron to form a super team of his own with the Miami Heat, joining forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Celtics will retire Kevin Garnett’s No. 5 jersey on March 13th vs. the Mavericks 🙌 pic.twitter.com/n3S8KvmOMZ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 20, 2021
From there, the balance of power immediately shifted from “Beantown” to “South Beach,” but to the Celtics’ credit, they did take the Heat to seven games in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.
Still, Garnett provided a ton of excitement for Boston fans on a nightly basis, bringing the same energy and intensity that Minnesota fans came to love while they had KG in the “Twin Cities.”
Conventional wisdom suggests that Garnett was at his best with the Timberwolves, as he won an MVP there in 2004 while putting up the gaudiest numbers of his career. However, in addition to a championship, an award Garnett earned in Boston was a Defensive Player of the Year Award, which came during his first season with the Celtics.
Five Additional All-Star Games
He also made five additional All-Star games while with the Celtics, proving he had more than enough left in the tank well into his 30s.
The numbers and accolades definitely contributed to making Garnett deserving of having his jersey number retired in Boston, but it was also his infectious personality that resonated well with a passionate city and fanbase that justifies this move.
A moment that will forever stand out in the memories of Celtics fans was when he screamed “anything’s possible!” after the Celtics beat the Lakers in the Finals.
Garnett’s tenure in Boston only lasted six seasons, as he was dealt with Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 with the Celtics looking to rebuild and the Nets looking to compete for an NBA championship.
The Celtics will become the first team to retire Garnett’s number, but everyone and their mother knows that it should’ve been the Timberwolves.
Once Glen Taylor officially sells the team to Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore, we should see Garnett’s #21 hanging in the Minnesota rafters.