Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett smile as David Letterman hands them the Larry O'Brien trophy. (CBS Photo / John Paul Filo)
Fresh off their title-clinching victory in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett were guests today on the Late Show with David Letterman. What follows is a sampling of their appearance, which can be seen in its entirety when the show airs tonight at 11:35 p.m. on WBZ-TV (Ch. 4, CBS):
Letterman greeted his guests by saying, "Congratulations to both you guys and thank you very much for being here. I know, I mean, it's crazy that you were in the big celebration and it's still continuing now, isn't it? And you're probably saying to yourselves right now, 'Why are we here?'"
Allen and Garnett said it was an honor to be on the show. "This'll solidify when you've won something, you've got to do Letterman," said Garnett.
Added Allen: "I think in the 80s when you won a championship, you said, 'We're going to Disneyland... In the year 2000, we say, 'We're going to David Letterman."
Letterman asked the pair about coming to Boston and understanding the history of the franchise.
"Well, you notice the difference because when you come into where we've played, myself in Milwaukee and Seattle, and then coming into Boston, you see all those banners and retired numbers up in the rafters and it's almost scary because you have so much to look up to or live up to," said Allen.
Letterman then asked Garnett about meeting past Celtic legends.
"They come into practice," said Garnett. "They watch us practice. They pull us to side, they speak. Before the year started, they came in. They had a big conversation about, you know, Celtic pride and what it means to be a Celtic, so you feel the tradition."
Letterman joked that the new guys probably preferred to be left alone, drawing laughter from the crowd.
"No, no, no, no, I mean, you have to understand they built the foundations for the present and, I mean, I'm just proud that we continue tradition," said Garnett, who went on to talk about his relationship with Bill Russell.
In a second segment with the pair, Allen talked about the family crisis that forced him to depart the Staples Center immediately following the Celtics' Game 5 loss in Los Angeles.
Allen said his 17-month-old son, Walker, had been admitted to the hospital Sunday and bloodwork determined that he was diabetic.
"I didn't know what to think," said Allen. "You know, I have friends that have diabetes, so we just figured it was going to be a lifelong process of just taking care of him and making sure that he ate correctly and lived a thorough life, making sure that he ate the right foods, so at first it was a shock and it hurt us, you know, seeing him in the hospital after the game, seeing him connected to tubes. As a parent, it bothered me tremendously, but you know, now, we're on the right track and we're definitely going to take care of him for the rest of his life."
Added Allen: "That day, I really put it all in perspective, and you know, we're playing in one of the biggest games of our careers, and I thought about him in the hospital and I said, 'Well, where are my priorities at this moment?' And, you know what, I want to be with these guys but you know, the little fella's who I want to be with most."