27
Jan 2014
Matt Bourgault

There’s some dust in my apartment

Matt tries not to cry about Paul Pierce.

I didn’t really have much to say when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were traded to the Brooklyn Nets. The move was expected, and even though I would have liked to watch the Celtics be mediocre instead of awful, I couldn’t really blame Danny Ainge. He’s the man who drafted this guy, you know.

I thought I was over the whole idea of the trade. That was until I saw the tribute video from Pierce’s homecoming.

Oh god, the tears.

(To be honest, I watched the Garnett tribute first and had a much milder reaction. Kevin is a Top-10 NBA player of all-time, but Pierce means more to me as a Celtics fan. Plus, his video tribute was lacking Gino. Where was Gino, guys?)

I never really grappled with the idea of being a Celtics-specific fan until 1997. Before that, I was a little busy watching that one guy. But the opening game of the 1997-98 season was Celtics-Bulls, and I was ready to make the transition. I was really excited to watch Larry Bird play, because I was five and didn’t understand back injuries.

Instead, I was treated to the only game where the NBA experimented with 4-pointers, leading to Antoine Walker out-scoring Michael Jordan. Seriously, look at Antoine’s stat line from that game. Five steals and seven turnovers? Never stop being you, Antoine.

Following that season, the Celtics drafted Paul Pierce, and I’ve watched his career closely ever since. From his yelling drives┬áto those turnaround jumpers that went flatter and shorter as time wore on, Pierce’s style of old-man-at-the-YMCA ball made a big impression on me growing up.

There are so many memories.

From when Pierce became the 50 Cent of bladed weapons.

To the miraculous comeback over the Nets.

From the P.J. Brown game.

To the 3-point contest.

Thanks for the memories, Paul.