American basketball has been around since 1846 and has been a part of our lives from childhood to retirement. We all have grown up playing or watching games, and all sports fans have their favorite teams. We are drawn to these teams for several reasons, whether it be players on the team or the location of the team. For me, there is no equal to the Boston Celtics, and it is impossible to talk about them without mentioning their big three.
To make it to the NBA is already a very difficult thing to do, and to get three players on one team who can completely dominate the league could be considered impossible. But we were blessed with a three-man combo that no other team could match. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen came together for Boston late in the first decade of the century. This combination of great players was something that the league had never seen before, and because of that, it was just about impossible to truly defend. Don’t get me wrong, there were great players in the league at this time like LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki, but even they were not enough to put a stop to this powerhouse.
They did not win every game. That would be impossible; the closest team to do that was the 2016 Golden State Warriors (73-9), and even then, they did not win the championship. Back to what’s important: the Boston Celtics big three was untouchable. Here is why.
Let’s start with the big man: Kevin “KG” Garnett (2007-13). Standing at 6-11 and harboring a “take no prisoners” attitude, few could find success in the paint because of him. Not only was he intimidating, but he also had a 7-4 wingspan that could block your shot from what seemed to be a mile away. During his time with the Celtics. he averaged 15.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Along with these stats, he also reached 25,000 career points in a 116-95 victory against the Lakers. KG would be traded to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 and would retire in 2016.
Next up is point guard Rajon Rondo (06-14). The 6-foot-1 point guard was a pass first point guard who would rather get an assist than score points. His combination of speed and ball handling was something that I looked forward to watching every game. His favorite passing targets were the 3-point specialist Ray Allen, the 6’11” giant KG and lastly, “The Truth” Paul Pierce. With this many options, it made it very easy for him to rack up assists. Rondo was traded in 2015 and still plays for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Last is my favorite player and the only one of the big three to have his jersey retired by the Celtics: Paul “The Truth” Pierce (1998-13). The first, and what some consider the best of this big three, Pierce was a leader of the team and was a very reliable player when it mattered. To prove it, look up all the game-winning shots that he has on YouTube. He played in over 1,000 games and averaged over 20 points per game for the Celtics. Retiring his jersey is something all Celtics fans would agree is deserved.
Even with other big threes, like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for the Warriors, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden for the Thunder and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Boston big three was the best out of them. They won the 2008 championship and made deep playoff runs every year they were together.
By Cody Poe, guest writer