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National reaction to Celtics trade: Inevitable end of an era

What Celtics fans have long feared has finally come to pass.

Paul Pierce [1] and Kevin Garnett [2] reportedly will be shipped to the Nets [3] 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 [4] 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:

‘€œAn inglorious end to a glorious era.’€ — Paul Flannery [5], SBNation

‘€œThis era of the Boston Celtics [6] was finally destroyed.’€ — Zach Harper [7], CBS Sports

‘€œ[Celtics fans] were experiencing the other end of the era.’€ — Ian Thomsen [8], Sports Illustrated

‘€œAn era ended in Boston as the deep-pocketed Nets loaded up for next year’€™s run.’€ — Chris Forsberg [5], 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 [9], and held nothing back about the Celtics’€™ rebuilding

‘€œSo make no mistake,’€ O’€™Connor writes. ‘€œThis 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.

‘€œ[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 [10] said the deal turned the Nets into “an instant title contender,” calling Pierce and Garnett “two huge housewarming gifts” for rookie coach Jason Kidd [11]. Steve Serby of the New York Post [12] 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 [13], which ended up being 7-foot-0 Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk [14].

Sports Illustrated’€™s Rob Mahoney called Olynyk [15] ‘€œthe 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 [16]: 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.