And just like that, Kevin Garnett is back.
The sweat. The screams. The chest-bumping and trash-talking. The glasses. The glare. The energy that gets you so hyped its like walking around shirtless in a thunderstorm, waving a metal bat and daring the lightning to come get some.
The ridiculous analogies.
It's all back.
Kevin Garnett is back.
For three more years!
Maybe. But at the very least: one more year! And after a few weeks spent wondering if we'd ever see him again, one is enough. What more could we ask for?
When he arrived five years ago, no one imagined it would play out like this. Back then, KG was foreign to us. He was barely even real. He was one of the biggest superstars in the NBA for a generation of fans, one of the coolest athletes in the world and guys like that didn't come to Boston. These days, Garnett not only plays for the Celtics, but he is a Celtic.
Twenty years from now, when people talk about KG, which team will they think of?
Which Garnett will they think of first: The kid who spent 12 years toiling in Minnesota, or the man who spent six, seven or maybe even eight years battling LeBron, Kobe, Dirk, Duncan and Dwight in the NBA's version of Game of Thrones?
I'm sure there are some who will still say Minny; who will always remember KG as that young, flashy, fierce but playful kid they grew up with. But I doubt they'll be the majority.
Kevin Garnett is a Celtic and I mean that in the most historic sense.
I mean that at this point, No. 5 belongs in the rafters.
He saved the Celtics five years ago. He took them from a middle of the road team which they were even after the Ray Allen trade and made them contenders. He brought basketball back to Boston. He brought the Celtics back from the dead.
On Saturday, he extended their life for at least one, but potentially three more years.
From now until July 11, youll hear the Celtics mentioned in conjunction with an endless list of free agents: Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Ray Allen, Greg Stiemsma, OJ Mayo, Jamal Crawford, Jason Terry, Richard Dumas, Marcus Camby, Chris Kaman, Gheorghe Muresan, Sonny Weems, Michael Beasley, JR Rider.
But the truth is: Regardless of what happens with the list, it will be OK. Thanks to the return of Kevin Garnett his skills, leadership and salary and assuming that Danny Ainge doesn't somehow suddenly lose his mind, the Celtics have the foundation and flexibility to keep up with the James's. They're still contenders. The three-year plan is going strong at six.
We may never know exactly how close we came to losing that, how close he really was to walking away, but at this point it barely matters.
KG is back.
And the Celtics aren't going anywhere.