NBA Finals: Three Veterans Finally Get Their Rings

Adam LindemerSenior Analyst IJune 18, 2008

Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett have a combined 32 years in the NBA, and there is one thing that none of them had ever done—hoist the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.

That all changed on Tuesday, June 17th, when the Boston Celtics crushed the Los Angeles Lakes by 39 points in Game Six to win the title.

There aren't three other players that I'd like to see win the title more than the ones pictured above. It was now or never for the Celtics—and if Danny Ainge continues to play his cards right, the Boston Celtics dynasty could be reborn.

Ray Allen: "Sweet Baby Ray, RayRay"

I've been a fan of Walter Ray Allen ever since the Milwaukee Bucks traded Stephon Marbury for him on Draft Day back in 1996. He and Celtics teammate Sam Cassell, along with Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson, came within a game of the 2001 NBA Finals, but fell short against the Philadelphia 76ers.

After that, the Bucks' "Big Three" fell apart. Milwaukee later traded Ray to Seattle for Gary Payton, Desmond Mason and Ronald "Flip" Murray. The entire city was sad to see him go.

His time in Seattle was going nowhere fast and Ray needed to find a way out. Enter Danny Ainge, who involved Ray in yet another Draft Day trade. Ray was the final piece of Ainge's plan to bring a title back to Boston.

Kevin Garnett: "KG, The Big Ticket"

Set the tone for high school-to-NBA players. Was the first to do so since Moses Malone, and was expected to have an immediate impact to Minnesota. He did, but the problem was he had no help surrounding him.

He failed to get out of the first round of the NBA playoffs year after year. Garnett needed to get out of Minnesota, and quick. After years of trade talks, and one stab at the Conference Finals, Garnett was dealt to Boston for a package of young players—which gave Timberwolves fans the true meaning of the term "rebuilding."

Paul Pierce: "The Truth" The staple of the Boston Celtics for nine years in which he continually begged management for help. Pierce was always the best player on an absolutely crappy team. When your team goes 24-58, you know it's time to do something.

The day Ainge got Garnett, Pierce greeted him with a big hug. Pierce knew that this team was destined for good things.


Allen went from Milwaukee's "Big Three" to Boston's (or the "Boston Three Party" if you like Scott Van Pelt). Garnett went from lone superstar in Minnesota to one of three superstars in Boston. And Pierce finally got the help he wanted.

Danny Ainge stepped up and compiled a roster which included these three superstars, and the Celtics won 66 games in the regular season. All of sudden, the Celtics went from the basement of the East to a conference powerhouse.

Allen, Pierce, and Garnett were a force to be reckoned with all year, and they can enjoy the offseason with the NBA Championship in their veins. And when they return to work in October, they know they will have to work even harder to defend their crown.