Five years ago this Tuesday on July 31, 2007, the Boston Celtics acquired power forward Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Al Jefferson, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, and two first round draft picks.
The 7-for-1 deal, which immediately made Boston legitimate contenders for the first time since the George Herbert Walker Bush administration, remains the largest number of players traded for a single man in NBA history.
Teamed with future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, Garnett, a 14-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA First Team selection, pushed Boston to an 8-0 record to start the 2007-2008 season and the dominant squad completed their memorable campaign with a league-best 66 wins.
In the playoffs, despite experiencing some struggles, the 6-foot-11, 253 pound Garnett ultimately helped lead the Celtics over the Los Angeles Lakers four games to two in a best-of-seven series to capture the fabled franchise’s first Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy since 1986 and its 17th title overall.
Although still a force, the Celtics have not managed to win another crown since that glorious June 17 evening on 100 Legends Way.
In stark contrast to Allen, who recently bolted from Beantown to play for the Miami Heat in South Beach, “The Big Ticket” and the Celtics agreed to a three-year contract extension worth an estimated $34 million last month.
Even at the somewhat geriatric age of 36, with Kevin Garnett, a nine-time All-Defensive First Team choice and 2004 Most Valuable Player, the Boston Celtics will always have an opportunity to recapture the brilliance of 2008.by