Before the Big Three completely dissolve into a mere page in the Boston Celtics' history books, the organization tipped its cap with a full-page ad in The Boston Globe.
Yahoo! Sports' Dan Devine has a full report on the fond farewell as well as the trade that will bring an end to a beautiful era in Boston.
Before we get to the final steps of a long road, and the particulars behind a dramatic maneuver from the Celtics front office, let's enjoy the large thanks adorning The Globe, via Boston.com sports editor Matt Pepin:
That's really the only fitting sentiment when witnessing two NBA greats switching from Celtic green to Nets black and white.
Still, it seems like eons ago when Boston managed to pull off a tremendous coup and bring Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to join Paul Pierce—all three introduced in a 2007 press conference that dripped with enthusiasm long before the Heat's star triumvirate promised their own title bling.
The idea that nothing lasts forever continues to get hammered home in the sports world, especially in the NBA, where cap space and luxury taxes drive decisions.
That revolving door started spinning for the Celtics last offseason when they lost one of their big three in Allen.
Now the other two will traipse to Brooklyn to resume brilliant careers, just as soon as the mega trade with the Nets is finalized.
As Devine reports, the swap could be completed as early as Friday. The inclusion of Kris Joseph means the teams had to wait until July 12 to conclude the deal—the CBA stipulates a player be on the roster three months before he is traded; Joseph was signed on April 12.
Now the remaining two, who helped procure the Celtics a title in 2008, will walk into another team's locker room, leaving behind a new coach, many new faces and Rajon Rondo, who will be tested as the face of the franchise.
Saying goodbye is nothing new in sports; it happens every season. The key is to face departures with grace and class.
The Celtics continue to be one classy organization, no matter the status of their roster.
Hit me up on Twitter: Follow @gabezal
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!