Kevin Garnett's Top 10 Moments as a Boston Celtic
Adored throughout Boston and despised everywhere else, Kevin Garnett exemplifies what it means to be a Celtic.
His passion for the game and the intensity he brings to the court is unmatched. He has been criticized by players and coaches alike—even to the point where head coach Doc Rivers felt the need to clear the air.
Garnett is one of the best players to put on the Celtics green. He has been to 14 All-Star games, won the NBA MVP and the Defensive Player of the Year awards, and captured a championship ring with Boston in 2008.
At 36, KG is back for year six with the Celtics.
Let's take a look at some of the greatest moments of his tenure in Boston.
10. Buzzer Beater to Defeat Knicks 107-105
At 6'11'', Garnett is a big man, playing power forward most of his career and taking the role of center with the Celtics last year.
To complement his interior game, KG has a killer 22-foot jump shot that he convincingly drains at will.
A great example of this robotic-like shot came in an early 2009-10 game against the New York Knicks. Tied in overtime at 105 a piece, the Celtics were inbounding the ball with 9.3 seconds left.
Ray Allen dished the ball to Paul Pierce from the sidelines. Everyone at Madison Square Garden knew Pierce was going to take the final shot. As he worked the clock down, Garnett came up to the three-point line to meet him and rolled off, bringing his defender to double up Pierce driving right.
Garnett was wide open for his signature shot. Pierce gave him the ball and he drained it, silencing a packed MSG.
That improved the Celtics to 10-4 on the year and they would go on to win the next 10 consecutive games.
9. Garnett Responds to Kendrick Perkins Trade
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge shook up the fabric of the team in February of 2011.
Just before the trade deadline, Ainge completed a pair of trades, sending Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic and shipping Luke Harangody and Semih Erden to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second-round draft pick.
No one was more affected by the trade than Kevin Garnett, who formed a formidable front with Perkins in the paint.
In an interview that day, KG called it a "tough day" multiple times and compared the trade to "losing a family member."
He also added, however, that both parties had to move on because they didn't have a choice. After all, that is what comes with being a professional athlete.
8. 2008 Eastern Conference First-Round Game 7 vs. Atlanta Hawks
Garnett proved his worth in the Big Three's first playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks in 2008.
The eighth-seeded Hawks gave the top-seeded Celtics a run for their money, pushing the series to seven games and culminating with a 99-65 Celtics win at the Garden.
KG recorded four double-doubles in the series, including an 18-point and 11-rebound performance in Game 7 despite only playing 27 minutes.
It was a test for the Big Three as they discovered their true talent in their first playoff run. Garnett would continue to lead by example in their next series against the Cavaliers.
7. Postgame Interview After Game 5 2012 ECF Win over the Miami Heat
Garnett was flying high after the Celtics' third consecutive win over the Miami Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.
The C's had dropped the first two games of the series but stormed back to win their two games at home and then steal one away from the Heat in Miami.
KG scored 26 points accompanied by 11 rebounds.
In a postgame interview with ESPN, Doris Burke asks Garnett what fuels him after 17 years in the NBA. His response is honest and to the point, explaining that competition and naysayers make him work hard.
He looks directly at the camera as he speaks, seemingly staring into the soul of everyone watching from their couches at home.
Unfortunately, the fuel did not last as long as he hoped, and the Celtics lost the series in seven games.
6. 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 6 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
KG scored 22 points and collected 12 rebounds as the Celtics paved their way to an NBA Finals rematch against the Los Angeles Lakers.
What made this win even better was that KG and the Celtics ousted LeBron in his final game as a Cavalier. LeBron would take his talents to South Beach with the pain of knowing he could never beat Boston on his own.
5. Pushups on Court in Game 3 of 2012 Eastern Conference Finals
In last year's Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat, Game 3 was a must win for the Celtics. They had lost the first two games in Miami and would have virtually no chance of coming back from a 3-0 deficit against the electric Heat team.
Midway through the second quarter with the Celtics leading by four, Rajon Rondo lobbed the ball down low to Garnett, who was fouled hard by Udonis Haslem.
KG laid on the court for a few moments before turning onto his stomach and pumping out eight push-ups. The crowd loved it, the announcers loved it, and Garnett showed that nothing could stop him in his fight for a victory.
He would end the game with 24 points and 11 rebounds as the Celtics won 101-91.
4. Garnett's Interview with Bill Russell
Celtic great Bill Russell is a huge fan of Garnett. He admires his dedication to the game and his productive output.
There are few people who can leave KG speechless, but when Russell sat down for an interview with the Celtics big man, KG was visibly humbled.
The two discussed what it is like to wear the Celtic green, their friendship and winning championships in Boston.
It is a touching interview to watch, and as Stuart Scott states upon the clip ending, "If you don't have chill bumps right now, then you don't get it. You don't have any idea what passion in sports and courage and willpower is all about."
3. 2008 NBA Finals Game 1 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The 2008 NBA Finals was the first finals appearance for every member of the Big Three: Garnett, Pierce and Allen.
The way the Celtics team played, however, one would have thought they'd been there a hundred times.
They were facing off against their perennial rival, the Lakers, and KG was sure to bring his A-game. He scored 24 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and added three assists.
He also led a defensive squad that held the high-powered Lakers to 41 percent shooting from the field.
KG would go on to top his Game 1 numbers in the clinching Game 6, scoring 26 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
2. "Anything's Possible!"
After the Celtics NBA Finals Game 6 win that made them NBA champions, Garnett was on top of the world.
When asked in an on-the-court interview how adding an NBA championship to his resumé felt, Garnett was speechless due to how "hyped up" he was at the moment.
He then elicited one of the most quotable Boston sports lines in recent memory, screaming "Anything's possible" before sobbing out of pure emotion.
Some people speculated that the Adidas-endorsee was attempting to promote the brand but had muffed the company's slogan, which is "Impossible is Nothing."
Adidas insisted they did not plant any endorsement quotes on KG. Instead, it was simply a gratifying moment for Garnett.
1. Garnett Introduced as a Celtic
With all the hype that the acquisition of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen built in the offseason before the 2007-08 season, the crowning moment of KG's career with the Celtics was his introduction.
There was no enormous stage, no pyrotechnics, no loud music and no flaunting about. Just KG, Ray Allen and Celtics captain Paul Pierce bringing an air of professionalism and determination.
Over the years Garnett has become a staple of the Celtics franchise and has expressed his desire to retire as a Celtic. He has created a legacy in Boston and last week reiterated that he will end his career there.
The atmosphere changed in Boston when KG arrived as is evident with the Celtics introduction to the 2007-08 campaign. It will certainly change when he leaves.
KG wants another ring before he's done—and who is going to stop him?