Reunion tour: Boston sports icons return
PAUL PIERCE & KEVIN GARNETT
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will make their returns to the TD Garden on Sunday for the first time since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets from the Boston Celtics over last offseason.
For Pierce, it will be the first time ever that he's stepped on the TD Garden parquet floor wearing anything but a Celtics jersey. That C's career spanned 15 seasons from 1998-99 to 2012-13. In that time, Pierce played in 1,102 games, and elevated his game to become one of the greatest Celtics of all-time.
Pierce has said on numerous occasions since the trade that it will be an emotional return for him.
Speaking of emotional, Kevin Garnett has been one of the most emotional players in the game over the course of his career. Six of those seasons have been with the Celtics, where that emotion was on display every single game he suited up for.
Pierce and Garnett were vital to the Celtics' 17th NBA Championship during the 2007-08 season, and their mark on the Celtics organization will last forever.
It will surely be a special night at the TD Garden on Sunday, as the two future Hall-of-Famers will be honored for the blood, sweat, and tears they poured into the organization, and for helping bring that Celtic Pride back to Boston.
Pierce and Garnett aren't the only Boston sports icons to return to the city wearing another uniform, though. Take a look at the others:
Time with the Patriots: 2007-12
By the numbers: 93 games, 672 receptions, 7,459 yards, 37 touchdowns
First game back: Nov. 24, 2013
Patriots beat the Welker's new team, the Broncos, in overtime, 34-31. As a punt returner, Welker helped cause a muffed punt that allowed the Patriots to convert the game-winning score. He finished the game with 4 receptions for 31 yards.
Time with the Bruins: 2010-13
By the numbers: 203 games, 56 goals, 65 assists, 121 points, 1 Stanley Cup title
First game back: Nov. 5, 2013
Seguin and the Stars beat the Bruins in a shootout, 3-2. Seguin finished +1 and scored in the shootout. Another former Bruin, Rich Peverley, scored the game-winner in the shootout.
Time with the Celtics: 2007-12
By the numbers: 16.7 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, 2.7 assists per game, 47.2 field-goal percentage, 40.9 three-point percentage, 1 NBA title
First game back: Jan. 27, 2013
The Heat lost to the Celtics in double overtime, 100-98. Allen played 38 minutes and finished with 21 points and five rebounds.
Time with the Patriots: 2007-10
By the numbers: 52 games, 259 receptions, 3,904 yards, 50 touchdowns
First game back: Oct. 31, 2010
The Patriots beat Moss and the Vikings, 28-18. The wideout who was at one time Tom Brady's favorite deep threat finished the game with just 1 catch for 8 yards.
Time with the Bruins: 2006-09
By the numbers: 222 games, 66 goals, 60 assists, 126 points
First game back: Dec. 5, 2009
Kessel and the Leafs took one on the chin, getting routed 7-2 to the Bruins. Kessel had just two shots in the game, no points, and he finished -3.
Time with the Red Sox: 1996-2003
By the numbers: .323 average, .923 OPS, 178 home runs, 690 RBI, 279 doubles, 1,281 hits
First game back: July 6, 2009
The A's came into Fenway and beat up on Nomar's old team, winning 6-0. Nomar chipped in with two hits and an RBI in his return.
Time with the Patriots: 1996-2005
By the numbers: 4 Super Bowl appearances, 3 Super Bowl championships, 263-for-321 field goals (81.9 percent)
First game back: Nov. 5, 2006
Vinatieri was only 2-for-4 on field goals, but the Colts won by a touchdown anyway, 27-20.
Time with the Red Sox: 1998-2004
By the numbers: 1,383.2 innings, 1,683 strikeouts, 309 walks, 2.52 ERA, 22 complete games, 8 shutouts, 2 Cy Young Awards (1999, 2000), 1 World Series title
First game back: June 28, 2006
By the time he made it back to Boston, Pedro looked like a much different pitcher than the one who helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004. Starting for the Mets, he threw three innings, struck out just one, and he allowed six runs on seven hits. The Red Sox won, 10-2.
Time with the Red Sox: 2002-05
By the numbers: .295 average, .803 OPS, 730 hits, 56 home runs, 299 RBI, 98 steals
First game back: May 1, 2006
With Wily Mo Pena patrolling center for the Red Sox, Boston beat the Yankees in Damon's return, 7-3.
Time with the Bruins: 1997-2006
By the numbers: 532 games, 169 goals, 285 assists, 454 points, 1 Hart Trophy (2005-06)
First game back: Jan. 10, 2006
Less than six minutes into the game, Thornton was given a game misconduct and ejected for checking Hal Gill from behind. The Sharks still went on to beat the Bruins, 6-2.
Time with the Celtics: 1996-2003 (24 games in 2004-05)
By the numbers: 20.6 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game, 4.1 assists per game
First game back: Dec. 17, 2003
The Wiggle was not enough to propel the Mavs to a win in Boston for 'Toine's return. The Celtics edged Dallas that day, 105-103, after Walker put up 7 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. He was 0-for-6 from three-point land and just 3-of-14 from the field in 36 minutes.
Time with the Patriots: 1993-2001
By the numbers: 63-60 record, 56.3 completion percentage, 166 touchdowns, 138 interceptions, 29,657 yards, 1 Super Bowl title
First game back: Dec. 8, 2002
It wasn't necessarily the happiest of homecomings for Drew, who threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns -- but also four interceptions. His former understudy, Tom Brady, went 15-for-27 for 183 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions as the Patriots won, 27-17.
Time with the Red Sox: 1991-98
By the numbers: .304 average, .936 OPS, 230 home runs, 752 RBI, 199 doubles, 1 MVP (1995)
First game back: May 7, 1999
As a member of the Anaheim Angels, Mo came back to Boston only to be welcomed by whom? Pedro Martinez. The Hit Dog went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as Pedro (15 strikeouts, 0 runs, 8.0 innings) led the Sox to a 6-0 win.
Time with the Patriots: 1995-97
By the numbers: 3,799 yards, 37 touchdowns, 45 games
First game back: Oct. 19, 1998
The eventual Hall of Famer ran for 107 yards for the Jets in a 24-14 win in Foxboro.
Time with the Red Sox: 1984-96
By the numbers: 192-111 record, 2,776 innings, 2,590 strikeouts, 3.06 ERA, 100 complete games, 3 Cy Young Awards
First game back: July 1, 1997
The Rocket lit up the Red Sox over eight innings. He allowed just one run on four hits and struck out 16 in a 3-1 win at Fenway Park.
Time with the Red Sox: 1982-92
By the numbers: .338 average, .890 OPS, 1,625 games, 2,098 hits, 85 home runs, 687 RBI, 422 doubles, 1,004 walks, 470 strikeouts
First game back: May 21, 1993
The Yankees lost, 7-2, in Boggs' return to Boston, but not because of him. He went 4-for-4 with a walk in the defeat.
Time with the Red Sox: 1969-80
By the numbers: .284 average, .837 OPS, 162 home runs, 568 RBI, 1,097 hits, 1,078 games
First game back: April 10, 1981
It wasn't quite Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, but Carlton Fisk came through in the clutch once again in his return to Boston. In the eighth inning, he belted a go-ahead three-run home run off of Bob Stanley to help the White Sox beat the Red Sox, 5-3.
Time with the Bruins: 1967-76
By the numbers: 625 games, 459 goals, 553 assists, 1,012 points, 2 Hart Trophies (1968-69, 1973-74), 2 Stanley Cup titles (1969-70, 1971-72)
First game back: Dec. 11, 1975
After being traded to the Rangers, Esposito helped the Blue Shirts beat the Bruins at the Boston Garden, 5-1.
Time with the Bruins: 1967-76
By the numbers: 631 games, 264 goals, 624 assists, 888 points, 3 Hart Trophies (1969-70, 1970-71, 1971-72), 2 Stanley Cup titles (1969-70, 1971-72)
First game back: Never again played in Boston Garden after signing with the Blackhawks in 1976.