Tay’s Bloody 10 has been in hibernation mode lately but I had to make a list for this. Last night the Boston Celtics lost Game 7 in Miami, in which could be the last game Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett ever play together. If I was Danny Ainge, I’d bring them all back and surround them with a nice supporting cast for one more shot at it, but that’s another blog for another day. Today I’m looking back over the last five years and finding the greatest moments of the Big 3. Not the greatest moments of the Big 3 era necessarily, but more of the greatest highlights surrounding the Big 3 in Boston.
So none of Rondo’s triple-doubles or the “Shrek and Donkey” game will be on here.
Let’s count ‘em down.
Honorable Mention: Big 3 Sports Center commercial
Right from the start these guys were beloved. This SC commercial with Scott Van Pelt was hilarious. They had a few other ESPN commercials but this was the best. “The Boston Three Party”.
Honorable Mention: 2008 NBA Finals. Game 4
The Celtics were getting run off the floor. There were down by 24 and the Lakers were hitting from everywhere. The Celtics dug deep and starting chipping away at the huge lead. They had huge contributions from their bench and had a clutch reverse lay-up from Ray in the fourth quarter. This was one of the greatest comebacks in NBA playoff history en route to something special.
10. The Welcoming Press Conference
This tells it all right here. The Celtics traded for Ray Ray and then a few days later put together a deal to get KG. Unlike the Miami Heat, they never guaranteed 8 championships and said they didn’t need anyone around them. They stepped up to the podium with class and said they’re going to work hard every day to try and win a title. And that they did.
9. Ray hits a game-winner vs. Chicago
In Game 2 of this 2009 first round series, Ray Allen knocked down a trey-ball with two seconds on the clock to give the Celtics the game. Ray’s hit a bunch of clutch three pointers but none was bigger than this. Ray also went on to score 51 points in a Game 6 loss in this series. The Celtics won this series but fell to the Magic in the conference semis. You can only imagine what would have happened if KG never had that knee injury.
8. Ring Ceremony/ Championship Parade
These two moments celebrating the 2008 NBA title were very special to these players and fans. It had been 22 years since there was a Celtics parade in Boston and it was great to see a city full of green again. As for the ring ceremony, this was a lot more emotional. The Big 3 had waited their entire careers to finally get a ring and they got it. All the hard work that had put in finally paid off.
7. Pierce returns from injury
Celtics captain Paul Pierce suffered a knee stinger in Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals and was helped into the locker room. He came back on the court a little while later and received a raucous ovation from the TD Garden crowd. He came in and hit back to back threes to help the Celtics beat the LA Lakers in Game 1.
6. Celtics send LeBron packing
Literally and figuratively. The Celtics were hosting the number one seed Cavaliers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals in what turned out to be LeBron’s last game in a Cavs uniform. The C’s dominated the Cavs this series and left people thinking that LeBron quit on his teammates. Then LeBron decided he wasn’t good enough and joined two other superstars in Miami.
5. Ray Allen passes Reggie Miller for most 3 pointers made all-time
This was one of my favorite moments. It was so perfect it was almost scripted. It was a home game vs. the Lakers while Reggie Miller was announcing it. The crowd didn’t stop cheering for Ray for about 10-15 minutes. With all of the time that Ray put into perfecting his stroke he absolutely deserves this record.
4. Pierce nets 41 points in Game 7 duel vs. LeBron
This might have been the best game I’ve ever seen Pierce play. He was going against LeBron who at the time was arguably the best player in the NBA. LeBron score 45 in the loss but it was Paul’s 41 points that led the Celtics past the Cavs in Game 7 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Semis.
3. Ray Ray sets NBA Finals record with 8 threes
This performance from Ray on the biggest stage was unbelievable. The C’s were down 1-0 to the Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals and Ray wouldn’t let them go down 0-2. He finished with an NBA Finals record 8 three pointers and 32 points. My favorite call from this game was from Mark Jackson when he said, “This is the worst job of trying to cover a shooter that I have ever seen.” I miss Mark.
2. Pierce passes Larry Bird
This past year Pierce moved past Larry Bird to move into second on the Celtics all-time scoring list. Bird was one of the best that played the game so this was a huge accomplishment for Pierce. He has been consistently great for the Celtics throughout his career and will go down as one of the most underrated scores of all time.
1. Banner #17
Did you expect anything else? After a 22 year absence the Larry O’Brien trophy was back in Boston. To make it even more sweeter they beat the Los Angeles Lakers to do so. To see the Big 3 win this game and win the series was truly a thrill and something I’ll remember forever. This team did something special and you can never take it away from them. The 2008 championship banner will hang in the rafters forever.
If last night was the last time the Big 3 played together I just want to say thank you. The memories from these past five years will live forever.