KG’s number sits alongside 2008 Finals MVP Paul Pierce’s iconic no. 34, representing two-thirds of Boston’s ‘Big 3.’ Ray Allen, who was in attendance for Garnett’s ceremony, signaled a truce between the two formerly estranged teammates.
Celtics Retiring No. 20, a ‘Special Accomplishment’
Now, fans wonder if the Celtics will retire Allen’s no. 20. Two-time Celtics champion (1981, 1984) Cedric Maxwell, host of the Cedric Maxwell podcast, pressed Allen in a recent interview with the Hall of Fame shooter.
“Listen, winning in Boston is everything,” Allen said, per Cedric Maxwell’s podcast. “I remember the parade, just all the people that came out. I just knew that winning there was so special because you take the minds of the young and the old, and everybody follows, and they believe, especially not having won in so long. And that place has always held a special place in my heart. So, to have my number retired in that building is an amazing feat, a special accomplishment. I’ve always revered the players that came before me.”
Maxwell, whose no. 31 was the last number the Celtics retired before Pierce’s ceremony in 2018, was one of the greats Allen mentioned, along with other Boston sports teams that carry a very familiar sense of pride and honor.
“Before I even played for the Celtics, you just think about all of the greats that played in Boston,” Allen added. “And, for a lot of people, it can be scary because you’re thinking how can you ever live up to those standards of those players that came before you. I’ve always laughed because I’ve seen when guys come to Boston, and I have a special pride even for the Patriots, the Red Sox, and the Bruins. You just know who’s built for that market and who isn’t.”
Allen: ‘One of The Greatest Honors in This Game’
Surprisingly, one of Allen’s favorite memories in Boston happened toward the end of a lopsided defeat. It was towards the end of Game 6 against the Miami Heat in 2012’s Eastern Conference finals at TD Garden.
Instead of heading for the exits and knowing it would be the best-of-7 series’ final game played in Boston, the fans decided to give their Celtics an encouraging send-off. It ended up being the last time Ray wore a Celtics uniform at TD Garden.
“Nobody left, everybody stood up, and they cheered us on,” Allen said. “They still chanted ‘Let’s go Boston’ because they knew that we still had a shot to win in Game 7. Regardless, of whether we did or not, that was the belief that we had in that building. So, when you come into that building, those jerseys are a part of Celtics lure, Celtics tradition, Celtics nation.
“To be able to say my name, my number that I wore, will be there at some point in my life, is one of the greatest honors in this game that I could ever receive.”