As the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets formally completed the blockbuster trade to send Kevin Garnett, Paul Piece and Jason Terry to Brooklyn in exchange for a package that includes Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and several draft picks, the difference in mood between the two franchises was palpable. Boston's team website described the move as a shake up and posted a small action picture of Wallace on the front page. The press release appropriately led with comments about losing franchise legends.
In contrast to that sober scene, the Nets went big. Really big. The splash page at the Nets' website featured a slick graphic of Garnett, Piece and Terry with the words "Hello Brooklyn. We're In." Not to be outdone, owner Mikhail Prokhorov proudly declared in the team's official press release that the "basketball gods" smiled down on the team:
"Today, the basketball gods smiled on the Nets," said Nets Principal Owner Mikhail Prokhorov. "With the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, we have achieved a great balance on our roster between veteran stars and young talents. This team will be dazzling to watch, and tough to compete against."
It's a joyous day for the Nets, so we'll overlook the comments about achieving "a great balance" between veteran stars and young talents for now. The basketball gods may be immortal, but in the NBA, aging veterans like Garnett (37), Pierce (35), and Terry (35) are always up against a hard wall of physical reality. In any case, here's what Brooklyn's celebratory splash page looked like:
Celtics executives didn't exude the same level of excitement. Here's what they had to say in the press release:
"We would like to thank Paul, Kevin, and Jason for everything that they have done for this franchise. We would not have won Banner 17 without Paul and Kevin and they will go down amongst the all-time great players to have ever worn a Celtics uniform," said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. "At the same time we are excited to welcome Gerald, Kris, Keith, MarShon and Kris to the Celtics family. They bring a wealth of talent, experience, depth, and flexibility to our team."
"Paul and Kevin exemplified everything it means to be a Celtic," said Celtics Managing Partner and CEO Wyc Grousbeck. "They were instrumental in bringing back Celtic Pride and providing our fans with the franchise's first championship in over 20 years in 2008. We wish them nothing but the best in the future."
Now here's what the Celtics posted to announce the trade:
PR presentation aside, there are a lot of details that will eventually define the quality of this move for both franchise. It may take a few years, but everyone should be excited to find out what the basketball gods were really smiling about.