Emotional night as Celtics retire Kevin Garnett’s No. 5

Kevin Garnett, stands in front of a replica of a banner featuring his No. 5 jersey during ceremonies to retire the number to the rafters following an NBA basketball game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics in Boston, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)Kevin Garnett, stands in front of a replica of a banner featuring his No. 5 jersey during ceremonies to retire the number

With a couple of curses, a primal scream, and a few tears, too, Kevin Garnett helped hoist his No. 5 to the TD Garden rafters on Sunday alongside the 2008 NBA championship banner he helped win after arriving in Boston.

On a day that featured live and video tributes from ex-teammates, former Celtics greats, other NBA A-listers and even musician Kenny G, Garnett became the 24th person in franchise history have is number retired.

None of the previous honorees them had quite the same combination of intensity, hard work and humor that Garnett brought when he joined Paul Pierce and Ray Allen for a New Big Three that ended the longest title drought in franchise history.Kevin Garnett places his hand on his chest while seated in front of an NBA Championship trophy during ceremonies held to retire Garnett's jersey No. 5 to the rafters following an NBA basketball game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Celtics, Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Boston. The Mavericks won 95-92. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

“Before he got here, we had one of our worst seasons. He was just that injection in the heart that we needed,” Pierce, whose No. 34 was retired in 2018, said in the postgame ceremony. “You brought a sense of culture to this team that was desperately, desperately needed. You brought Boston pride- Celtic pride back.”

Wearing a dark suit and a black turtleneck, with a Ukrainian flag ribbon on his lapel and a Celtics green pocket square, Garnett came onto the court with his daughters and was greeted by former teammate and current broadcaster Brian Scalabrine.Kevin Garnett, top left, pulls on a cord as he assists in raising his No. 5 jersey, right, to the rafters during number retirement ceremonies following an NBA basketball game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics, Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

With the championship trophy on a table behind them, Scalabrine asked where Garnett got the passion that propelled him from the fifth overall draft pick out of a Chicago high school to the basketball Hall of Fame.

“Nobody tells you how to use your superpower,” Garnett said, adding that he watched his mother work hard to raise him. “It’s in my DNA. I figured it out.”

The day also included a reunion with Allen, ending a public feud that began when the sharpshooting guard left the Celtics to sign with the Miami Heat. The two players hugged and were soon joined by Pierce before Garnett shouted into the microphone: “Ray’s next, damn it!”

Garnett played only six seasons in Boston, but they included five of his 15 career All-Star appearances and the 2008 championship, the 17th for the Celtics. He was the 2004 MVP with Minnesota, where he started and ended his 21-year NBA career.Paul Pierce, left, and Ray Allen, behind, hug Kevin Garnett, center, during ceremonies to retire Garnett's jersey No. 5 to the rafters following an NBA basketball game between the Mavericks and the Celtics, Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Boston. The Mavericks won 95-92. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)Paul Pierce, left, and Ray Allen, behind, hug Kevin Garnett

“I’m glad to see you’re a member of this elite club,” Hall of Famer Bill Russell told him in a video taped tribute. “I always enjoyed watching you play, and now our jerseys hang together in the rafters.”Heather Walker, left, Boston Celtics vice president of public relations, receives a hug from former Celtics player Kevin Garnett, right, following a Heroes Among Us award ceremony for Walker in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Boston. Walker received the award following her treatment for a brain tumor. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The Celtics presented Garnett with a piece of the original parquet floor, a custom bottle of tequila, a portrait of him popping his Celtics jersey, and “an NFT gift basket.” His daughters joined him as he raised the banner to the rafters, tears streaming down his cheeks.

Kenny G played “Loving You” on the saxophone. “From one KG to another, congratulations,” he said.

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