Before every game he played for the Celtics, Kevin Garnett went through a routine.
First, he slapped his chest to the crowd.
“Let them know my heart was in it,” Garnett told reporters Thursday.
Then he banged his head against the basket support.
“I would do anything in this game,” Garnett explained.
Then he looked for inspiration. Above him in the rafters of TD Garden, he could see every number retired by the Celtics and every banner earned by those players.
“That was my driving force,” Garnett said. “When I came to Boston, I wanted to be a player to be remembered for playing in Boston. And I went out every night where I got dressed, and I played like that. But every night, every morning , I would come to practice and look at the banners and just look at them and go through each one.
At first, Garnett was also staring into a void lit by a spotlight. Doc Rivers wanted to emphasize that there was always room for another title, so he shed a light on where another banner would go if the Celtics won their first championship since 1986.
Later this year, nearly 14 years after Garnett played a vital role in filling that void, the Celtics will honor him by retiring his number in a March 13 ceremony. 5 – a monument to a player who achieved exactly what he set out to achieve. Garnett will be remembered for playing in Minnesota, sure, but he helped win a title in Boston. He will be remembered at least in part as a Celtic.
“I heard Larry Bird say once in his early years in Boston that the reason he loved playing in front of Boston fans was because you couldn’t fake them,” Garnett said. “You couldn’t fool the fans. They knew when you were playing hardball. They knew when you gave it your all. …
“I never wanted to come in and be cool, I didn’t want to be calm. I wanted to be under control, but I wanted to be electric. I wanted to win every game and I wanted everyone I played against to know that. I guess the fans resonated with that and to this day the fans come up to me they dap me they express their appreciation for the hard work and the passion In the end man it’s all you can to ask.
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