How 2008 Celtics Big Three Felt After Boston Clinched Banner 18

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The Boston Celtics validated themselves as the NBA’s most dominant team from start to finish, earning a confetti/champagne-plastered celebration at TD Garden immediately after Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

The laundry list of doubters, anti-Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown narrative spinners and the Dallas Mavericks all felt the wrath of head coach Joe Mazzulla’s squad, capping off a year in which the Celtics set a record by notching the most 50-point wins, 40-point wins, 30-point wins, and 25-point wins in NBA history.

“To be able to say we did it, that we came together and we won a championship. Banner No. 18 has been hanging over our head for so many years,” Tatum said after Game 5. “To know that we’re going to be engraved in history, and it still hasn’t like registered. I’m just still trying to process it all.”

Here’s how the Banner 17 trio of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen responded to Boston’s 106-88 Game 5 series clincher over Dallas:

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Paul Pierce (1998-2013)
“Like I said in the beginning, this was a bad matchup from the start,” Pierce explained Tuesday morning on FS1’s “Undisputed.” “You know, you talking to somebody who can just see right from the start. (The Mavericks) need to get some athleticism to compete with Boston, and I don’t see how they can do that and I think it was just so much pressure that you gotta put on Kyrie (Irving) at this stage in his career.”

Pierce added: “Y’all didn’t see the best of the Boston Celtics this postseason either. They played mostly without (Kristaps) Porzingis. Think about that. Our defensive presence, our offensive presence. (Porzingis) played two games in the Finals, three if you wanna count that last game. … I’m about to place my bet for next year right now.”

Kevin Garnett (2007-2013)
“LET’S GOOOO!!!!” Garnett posted on the social media platform X, captioning a clip of the now-48-year-old’s iconic, “Anything’s possible” celebration after the team’s 2008 championship clincher at TD Garden.

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Moments later, as the champagne began pouring inside Boston’s locker room, Garnett jumped on a FaceTime call with ex-teammate-turned-assistant coach Sam Cassell. Garnett’s emotions remained high as the Hall of Famer saluted the team’s current squad, raising Cassell’s celebratory intensity.

“We in the building, baby!” Cassell shouted, per Celtics team reporter Marc D’Amico. “What they gonna say now, Ticket? What they gonna say now, big fella? We the champs, baby!”

Ray Allen (2007-2012)
“The energy, to be here — I always tell people if you wanna watch a fever fan base, specifically in the NBA Finals, there’s no better place to be here in the Garden,” Allen said moments after attending Boston’s Game 5 victory, per CLNS Media. “Just being here just brought some of the old memories. So glad to experience this. I was here two years ago and it didn’t end up so well. That’s why I’m sure for the guys that are here again, it was so amazing.”

The 16-year gap between the 2008 and 2024 title runs symbolizes a long patient road in which Boston traded in its past for its future by flipping Pierce and Garnett for a package of hopeful draft selections that became Tatum and Brown. But unlike the then-Doc Rivers-led “Big Three,” the current team has time working on its side, a very committed Celtics front office and ownership group, and an Eastern Conference that remains up for Boston’s taking until further notice — three ingredients for a dynasty.

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