Friday marked the 13th anniversary of the trade that brought Kevin Garnett to Boston and helped the Celtics raise Banner 17.
On July 31, 2007, the C's traded Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, and Sebastian Telfair to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Garnett. It's a deal that will forever be remembered as one of the best in Celtics history, but it wasn't unanimously well-received 13 years ago.
Former Celtics Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins recounted the trade Friday on ESPN's "The Jump," and the two had far different reactions to KG's arrival. Pierce was a major proponent of Garnett coming to Boston, but Perkins wasn't exactly thrilled.
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"I wanted to do anything I could to get Kevin Garnett in Boston," said Pierce. "All I ever wanted was an opportunity to win a championship. Being on so many teams that didn't make the playoffs, that made the playoffs first-round exit ...
"I think I went to the gym that day and started getting up shots because I was getting ready. For the first time in my career, to be on a contending team with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, that was a dream come true because I thought my career in Boston was almost over."
For Perkins, the reasoning behind his initial disdain for the trade was personal.
"We were giving up one of my great friends Al Jefferson. I was the starting center at the time, he was the power forward. We thought the organization was building around us along with Paul Pierce," Perkins said. "I heard about that trade, I didn't care because I wasn't looking at the bigger picture and at that time, I didn't like KG anyway. He didn't like me, I didn't like him."
On the 13th anniversary of the Kevin Garnett trade to Boston, @PaulPiece34 and Jackie MacMullan recount how it all went down, while @KendrickPerkins reveals how mad he was about the deal at the time 😂 pic.twitter.com/A1ThCcy9cv— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) August 1, 2020
Needless to say, it all worked out for Pierce, Perkins, and the Celtics organization. Perkins and Garnett's dislike for one another didn't last long as they've since become close friends, and Pierce finally was able to get over the hump and win an NBA title with Boston after nine seasons.