National reaction to Celtics trade: Inevitable end of an era
|06.28.13 at 2:03 pm ET|
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett reportedly will be shipped to the Nets in exchange for three first-round picks, as well as a five-player package highlighted by 2005 Celtics first-round draft pick MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries.
The reaction from media around the country is, well, about as one would expect. Many of them used one common phrase in particular in their pseudo-obituaries:
“An inglorious end to a glorious era.” — Paul Flannery, SBNation
“This era of the Boston Celtics was finally destroyed.” — Zach Harper, CBS Sports
“[Celtics fans] were experiencing the other end of the era.” — Ian Thomsen, Sports Illustrated
“An era ended in Boston as the deep-pocketed Nets loaded up for next year’s run.” — Chris Forsberg, ESPN
Indeed, the official end of the Big Three Era — a period that lasted twice as long as many expected it to — has come, and with it a new one dawning in Brooklyn.
Ian O’Connor of ESPN New York assesses the trade from the Nets’ point of view, and held nothing back about the Celtics’ rebuilding
“So make no mistake,” O’Connor writes. “This is a great night for the Brooklyn Nets, even if it doesn’t lead to the title Garnett and Pierce won for the Celtics, who are busy becoming a D-League team in the hope of winning banner No. 18 in a resurgent season to be named (much) later.
“[Nets owner Mikhail] Prokhorov and his industrious GM, Billy King, saw an opening and pounced. The Nets got older and slower in the process, but they also got a lot better, especially in a playoff context.”
Other New York media also took an understandably excited tone. The Daily News said the deal turned the Nets into “an instant title contender,” calling Pierce and Garnett “two huge housewarming gifts” for rookie coach Jason Kidd. Steve Serby of the New York Post is looking forward to what the reported acquisitions will do for the Nets-Knicks rivalry.
“Here comes a City Game rivalry that will make the old Cold War with the Russians feel like a tempest in a teapot,” Serby writes. “A championship tree grows in Brooklyn. Nets versus Knicks for the hearts and minds of New York City.”
Although the Nets-Celtics deal stole all the headlines, it wasn’t the first trade they made Thursday night. They earlier swapped their 16th overall pick and two future second-round choices for the 13th selection, which ended up being 7-foot-0 Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk.
Sports Illustrated’s Rob Mahoney called Olynyk “the most offensively talented big man in the draft” who also plays real well down low. His shot-blocking is weak, however, and he isn’t exactly an elite athlete.
Peter Woodburn of SBNation points out what some others seem to be overlooking: Olynyk is relatively new to the spotlight. He had one good season, as a junior in 2012-13, after seeing little playing time his first two seasons and redshirting in 2011-12.