The Boston Celtics weren’t dormant at Thursday’s NBA trading deadline—notably flipping the injured Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins to the Washington Wizards for volume scorer Jordan Crawford (h/t ESPN)—but they didn’t make any of the blockbuster moves rumored in the weeks leading up to it.
Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald found that Chris Paul spoke to KG prior to the deadline and made it clear that if Garnett wanted to become a member of the Clips, the superstar point guard would make it happen.
Fortunately for Celtics fans, the Big Ticket declined the enticing offer and held true to his vow that he “will retire a Celtic and be buried in green” (per ESPN).
Had KG elected to accept CP3’s proposal, C’s general manager Danny Ainge would have likely gunned for DeAndre Jordan and/or Eric Bledsoe in a possible deal, as Murphy reported these two players were atop Boston’s wish list.
Despite the long odds, it seems that the veterans inside the Celtics locker room are not abandoning their goal of competing for a championship in 2013.
After Rajon Rondo went down for the season and many wrote this group off, they responded by winning seven straight, a stretch that included victories over the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and Clippers.
Garnett and Paul Pierce are setting the tone for the rest of the veterans and youngsters in the locker room, with Doc Rivers putting together yet another brilliant coaching performance during the 2012-13 campaign. It’s impossible to count the Celtics out now that they’ve been able to reload with Crawford and retain KG at the deadline.
While KG would have surely had an easier road to a potential championship by jumping ship to the 39-18 Clips, he proved his pride and mettle by choosing to remain with the 28-26 Celtics.
It was the type of decision rarely seen in today’s NBA, with LeBron James and other “me-first” superstars playing the role of mercenary—willing to ply their trade in any city in order to increase their odds of winning a title.
Of course, Garnett didn’t win his first championship until being traded to the C’s, but it wasn’t until the Minnesota Timberwolves brass openly insulted their superstar by refusing to surround him with talent and seemingly had absolutely no desire to contend towards the end of his tenure.
The Celtics, despite facing an uphill battle to even make the playoffs in 2013, aren’t giving up on contending. Garnett made the right choice by not giving up on the Celtics.