Kevin Garnett Cemented As Boston Celtics Legend With Jersey Retirement

It can never be an uneventful moment in the TD Garden with Kevin Garnett in attendance. He had a full day from a jersey retirement to giving dap to Jaylen Brown after a monster dunk in the first half.

Garnett is just the 23rd Celtic in franchise history to have his jersey retired. There were video tributes from his peers offering congratulations to Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman saying he wanted to hug then-President Danny Ainge after seeing Garnett play for only one half of basketball, to Paul Pierce who had played with KG as far back as their AAU days.

Then after one of the numerous standing ovations, Garnett talked about his championship era in Boston.

One of the best moments of the ceremony was the public reconciliation between Garnett and Ray Allen, who was considered “questionable” to attend throughout the week. The crowd erupted as the two hugged to close a 10-year rift that began when Allen signed with the Miami Heat as a free agent, effectively ending the five-year “Big 3” era.

Ray Allen’s appreciation was evident when he spoke after the ceremony.

“Just because I moved away doesn’t mean that relationship, that friendship, ends.” Allen said via ESPN, “So it did center around Kevin and myself because I did get the sense that the people here felt how Kevin felt. Once he accepted me, then the people accepted me. That was the sense. I was glad we could do that and people could see, ‘We won with this guy in 2008, and that’s what matters most.'”

Kevin Garnett has a six-season resume that showed that his No. 5 deserved to be in the rafters. KG collected five All-Star teams selections was named to four NBA All-Defensive Teams with a first-team All-NBA selection in 2008. He rode that momentum along with the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award to the NBA title that year.

With Phil Collins’ famous tune “In The Air Tonight” blasting throughout the arena, a tearful Garnett raised his banner along with his two daughters. His number ended up next to Paul Pierce’s.

Kevin Garnett’s legacy may be forever attached to this quote, cementing him as a Celtic forever.

“You know, I was listening to the videos, and everything in here, and I kept hearing that it was saying that I came here to make players better,” Garnett said, “And in all actuality, those players made me better, and I like to think that we made each other better.”