Celtics Fans Shower Kevin Garnett with an Impromptu Standing Ovation
All night long, Celtics fans chanted, “We want KG!” Towards the end of the fourth quarter, they finally got him.
Kevin Garnett didn’t play Monday night in his fourth and possibly final trip back to the T.D. Garden since the Celtics traded him to the Brooklyn Nets three seasons ago. As the game was winding down—and the Celtics were putting the finishing touches on their 113-99 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves—the sound of Bees Gees’ “You Should Be Dancing” started blaring from the loudspeakers. Garnett’s beloved Gino, the star of the American Bandstand mashup the Celtics have taken to playing in the closing moments of a blowout victory, appeared on the screen shortly thereafter. At that moment, he walked towards the court and was showered with an impromptu standing ovation.
“”That was like the cherry on top for me, you know?” Garnett said after the game, via MassLive. “My teammates were looking at me like, ‘What is this?’ I was like, ‘I’ll explain later.’ So thank you for whoever put the Gino on. I know my guys here put it on for me, so I appreciate that.”
KG on Gino + fans chanting his name… pic.twitter.com/l71CLc2ogE
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) December 22, 2015
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens deserves credit for the moment, too, as he called a timeout with 1:02 remaining in the fourth quarter. Without that stoppage of play, Garnett may have never been lured off the bench.
#Celtics coach Brad Stevens on “We want KG!” chants: “Awesome.” Coach said: “I was not chanting loudly, but maybe under my breath for sure.”
— Scott Souza (@Scott_Souza) December 22, 2015
What made Monday’s moment so special was its spontaneity. Unlike Garnett’s first game back at the Garden two years ago, there was no tribute video. Since it was the second night of a back-to-back for the Timberwolves, the 39-year-old Garnett didn’t even play. But that didn’t stop the more than 18,000 fans at the Garden from demanding Garnett step onto the court. He obliged with barely over a minute to spare.
Though Garnett’s played 14 seasons in Minnesota and is reportedly interested in buying the franchise once he retires, it’s clear he’ll always cherish his time in Boston. Paul Pierce may have been the captain of the Celtics’ 2008 championship team, but Garnett was its identity. Once he came aboard, everything changed.
Garnett won his only championship in Boston and helped bring the franchise back to greatness after nearly two decades of relative dormancy. As Monday night showed, neither Garnett nor Celtics fans are likely to ever forget that.