12 years ago, the Boston Celtics formed the Big Three! Banner 17 was raised! The bar was set for the future Boston Celtics teams!
The Paul Pierce era for the Boston Celtics will be one that all of Celtics fans will remember forever. Through many up’s and down’s during the early years of his career, to winning an NBA Championship for Boston, the 2008 Boston Celtics will go down as one of the greatest and most complete teams in history.
When the option of drafting a future NBA All Star in Kevin Durant fell through for the Celtics in 2007, Danny Ainge had to perform what was one of his first magic tricks as GM/president of basketball operations. This was the making of the Big Three.
For years, Pierce was unhappy about the direction of the team. Pierce voicing his opinions on wanting to play with established players like himself, the Celtics ended up going in that very direction. In 2007, the Boston Celtics formed a trade package that acquired them Ray Allen, a seven-time all-star at the time.
In 2007, the Celtics traded: Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, and the rights to the 5th overall draft pick (Jeff Green) to the Seattle Supersonics, in exchange for Ray Allen, and the rights to the Seattle Supersonics’ 35th overall draft pick (Glenn Davis).
The trade negotiations were not easy, and went on for days. Both sides were able to reach an agreement that ended up working out well for both teams. When it’s all said and done, Danny Ainge knew that the acquisition of Ray Allen wouldn’t be enough to help Pierce get over the hump of the Eastern Conference.
A Boston Celtics legend by the name of Kevin McHale, spent 13 seasons with the Celtics during the ‘80’s and early ‘90’s. He helped bring 3 NBA Championships to Boston, and was the GM of the Minnesota Timberwolves back in 2007.
Danny Ainge, finally put together a package that McHale and the Timberwolves’ front office just couldn’t refuse. The Celtics agreeing to trade away: Al Jefferson, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, and Gerald Green. Along with two future first round draft picks, and cash considerations. In exchange, the Timberwolves agreed to trade away NBA All-Star, Kevin Garnett.
Reluctant at first, Garnett didn’t want to leave Minnesota. After realizing what was on the table for him in Boston, his decision to leave the Timberwolves ended up being a no-brainier.
July of 2007 was when the Celtics finished forming their big three; Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett. The perfectly assembled formation of the Big Three finally gave Doc Rivers the fully-loaded team he needed.
With a starting unit of: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Kendrick Perkins, the Boston Celtics finished the regular season with a 66-16 record.
En route to the NBA Finals, the Celtics excelled through the playoffs. Having match-ups with the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Detroit Pistons, the Celtics showed no signs of letting off the gas pedal during the playoffs.
The Celtics and Lakers have one of the most storied rivalries in the NBA. The 2008 NBA Finals marked a record eleven match-ups in the finals for the two teams. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol were the sure leaders of the ’07-’08 Lakers team. The two helped lead the Lakers to an impressive playoff run, only losing three games before reaching the Finals.
In a hard fought six games, the Celtics won the series 4-2. Earning their 17th championship banner. Paul Pierce earned himself the title of finals MVP. Kevin Garnett averaged an impressive 13 rebounds per game during the finals, giving him 78 total rebounds for the series. Ray Allen averaged 20.3 points per game during the series.
The “Boston Three Party” did not disappoint as they met the expectations of not only their team, but the city of Boston. It’s no secret that playing for a team in Boston comes with championship intentions.
The ’07-’08 Boston Celtics changed the dynamic of the future of the franchise. The “super-team” of Boston handled their business during that championship year. Helping to pave the way for the super-teams that we see today in the modern NBA.