Returning for the first time since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, it was expected that veteran standouts Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett would receive a warm welcome from the fans in Boston.

And a warm welcome they did receive.

Before the trade to Brooklyn, Pierce spent his entire career in Boston (15 seasons).  Garnett was acquired from Minnesota back in 2007, and spent six seasons with the Celtics.

The Celtics’ “Big Three”, a trio featuring Pierce, Garnett and the recently departed Ray Allen, brought another NBA Championship to the city in Boston in 2008.


Boston’s “Big Three”, which featured Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, celebrated an NBA title in 2008

WEEI reporter Mike Petraglia (@Trags) submitted the following raw video to his YouTube account.  It features the introduction of both Pierce and Garnett.  While the video isn’t of the highest quality, you can still clearly see (and hear) that the fans brought plenty of cheers.  In predictable Boston fashion, the fans also immediately booed Nets coach Jason Kidd.

As the game progressed, the Celtics presented the fans and players with individual tributes to both Pierce and Garnett.  Petraglia also posted videos of each of these to his YouTube account:

Boston’s Tribute to Kevin Garnett:

Boston’s Tribute to Paul Pierce:

On a personal note, it would have been great to be at the game.  While it was a strong ovation, I actually expected the fans to cheer these two stars for a while longer during the original introduction.  Perhaps it was the fact that the public announcer moved on to the rest of the team and coaching staff.

Either way, it was a great moment for a city that has celebrated a lot of sports success over the last decade.

(H/T Mike Petraglia – WEEI)