NBA

Boston Celtics Honor Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett with Video Tribute

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 26: Paul Pierce #34 and Kevin Garnett #2 of the Brooklyn Nets stand on the court during the national anthem before the game against the Boston Celtics on January 26, 2014 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE  (Photo by Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2014

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce returned to Beantown Sunday night.

The duo that won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2008 played in front of the Boston faithful once again, this time as members of the Brooklyn Nets.

Emotions were running high from the get go, starting with scattered applause as Brooklyn's players took the court:

Garnett, who spent six seasons in Boston, then received a vociferous welcome when the starting lineups were announced, facing a sea of flashing lights as he ran onto the floor:

Later, the Celtics had a video tribute for KG, during which he received a standing ovation captured by Celtics voice Sean Grande:

Afterward, the cameras panned upward, per SB Nation's Paul Flannery:

That such an implication can be made knowing Garnett spent less than half his career with the Celtics shows how much of an impact he had on the fans and the organization during his extended stay.

Pierce's tribute was even more powerful.

The Truth spent all 15 of his previous seasons in Boston, and his video generated some chilling responses.

Or, as Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski put it, some loud responses:

"Loud" doesn't even do it justice. The arena looked like it was shaking, overcome with nostalgia and respect.

After listening to more of the crowd's reactions from Newsday's Rod Boone, "deafening" is the more appropriate term:

Once the video concluded, Pierce acknowledged his former hometown crowd, much to their delight:

It was one of the most classy and emotional returns you'll ever see, and as Bleacher Report's Ethan Norof points out, it was perfectly handled by the Celtics:

"It's going to be special," said Pierce of his return to Boston, per The Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes.

And special it was.

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