Paul Pierce walked through that door Sunday night.
And so did Kevin Garnett.
Only one problem, they went to the wrong locker room.
The appreciative crowd at TD Garden, and those Celtics fans watching on TV, weren't the only ones who noticed the way these two players from Brooklyn were received in Boston.
Congrats to the Celtics Owners and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge on great video tributes to Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 27, 2014
The return of Pierce and Garnett together again, but with the Nets, was just the type of mid-season elixir the Celitcs needed to stir up some notice. Luckily for Boston, its only real competition for eyeballs came in the form of the Grammy Awards. Something resembling the Pro Bowl was reportedly airing on NBC.
The Grammys may offer few musical relics/legends to lure in viewers over 30 - Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Willie Nelsonwere among the performers. It's newcomers, however, like Lorde or Macklemore and Lewis, and mega-stars like Mr. and Mrs. Carter, who are the main attractions.
The NBA is no different.
The Celtics these days offer little of both the dynamic NBA superstar, or anyone who might be a favorite for Best New Artist, one of the awards won by Macklemore and Lewis. Boston remains stuck in the middle of the bottom. The worst place to be. And the team is offering neither a reason to watch today with any hope or much of a reason to ponder success in the near future.
"Tankapalooza" isn't going to be the cure-all one might hope. The 2014 NBA Draft that is supposed to heal so many woeful NBA franchises is losing some luster as the college basketball season slogs toward March Madness.
Too many untested players are actually having to play. The hype rarely ever equals the outcome when it comes to none-and-done, or one-and-done collegiate players. Garnett was the first player in 20 years to be drafted directly by the NBA out of high school in 1995. Many followed, including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwight Howard. But there are just as many Kwame Browns, Shaun Livingstons and Eddy Currys.
The return of Pierce and Garnett to the Garden Sunday night provided plenty of nostalgia, as was evidenced by the two video clips above and the terrific ovation they received. It also reinforced the notion that the days of the "Big Three" and "Ubuntu" are about as relevant to this season's team as the days of that other "Big Three," or Russell and Cousy.
The Celtics team that lost 85-79 Sunday night will likely bear little resemblance to the Cetlics team that Danny Ainge constructs in a year or two that will be marketed as a "Contender in the Making."
Brad Stevens will continue to [NBA] learn on the job and the talent that Ainge has to offer other teams will continue its league-wide audition. Even the treasured captaincy bestowed on Rajon Rondo means nothing for the right price.
Pierce and Garnett can find some solace in the fact that McCartney actually won a Grammy Sunday night. It came just 49 years after his first win as a member of the Beatles.
So old timers can still win once in a while, just not in Boston anymore.
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