Paul Pierce was in tears when he met John Havlicek at center court and accepted the Larry O'Brien trophy during the championship ceremony before tonight's game. And the usually composed Pierce was definitely shaken when he took the microphone and thanked the crowd (and just about everyone else) after the players received their rings.
So it's a bit of a surprise that Pierce was by far the most composed Celtic in 38 minutes of play against the Cavs, pouring in a game-high 27 points, at times the only reliable offensive option on the floor for Boston.
"It was hard," Pierce told reporters after the game. "I was on the sideline trying to pull myself together, talking to myself. I was able to do it in time, and concentrate on the game and I’m just glad I pulled together in time so we could come out and play the game.”
Celtics coach Doc Rivers told his players not to shy away from the emotions before the game.
“Well, we all were [emotional]," said Rivers. "I was; I mean everyone was. I’ve never gone through this night and I didn’t know what to expect. Paul got it started. You put in this much time through your career and you always talk about ring night and getting a ring, and when it finally comes you’re just not prepared for it."
You think Kevin Garnett might have been fired up? You betcha. His first shot of the game, like his first shot as a Celtic, looked like it could have gone through the backboard.
"I’m known for coming into the Garden and having a hell of a first shot," said Garnett. "So, if we were gonna base it off that, we were in good shape. But like Paul said, it was an emotional night. It’s kind of hard to contain, it’s kind of hard to turn the switch on and off ... Like Doc said, we’ve earned that right to have that special night, and I think everybody embraced it.”