Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett held up their jerseys together back in 2007 in Boston.
But on July 18, 2013, they did so again - this time as Brooklyn Nets.
Pierce, Garnett, and Jason Terry were formally introduced as Nets on Thursday in Brooklyn in front of media and season ticket holders.
Sitting alongside Nets GM Billy King and new head coach Jason Kidd, the three players put on smiles and said all the right things as they embark on a season that they hope will end with a championship.
The trade from Boston doesn't appear to be something that they easily embraced, but nonetheless they did their best to be positive. Garnett is a very loyal person. It was very, very hard for him to accept a trade from Minnesota to Boston years back, and undoubtedly hard for him to do it again, this time to Brooklyn. That said, after an offseason of mulling it over, KG had a question of his own at the news conference.
"What's up Brooklyn?!"
With those three words, it's clear that while the situation may not be ideal, he's in.
"It's unfortunate that we had to obviously move from Boston, but I felt like both sides are going in different direction," Garnett said. "For me, one of the major reasons I decided to come here, is because the bones of this. I feel like adding what you see up here with the bones of what they have already with Brook [Lopez], Deron [Williams], and all the pieces they have here, Joe [Johnson]. I feel like what Paul says, it gives us the best option to win again, and to win it all. I'm embracing this opportunity, my family is embracing this opportunity, and I'm looking forward to it."
Terry, who was somewhat forgettable in his one year with the Celtics, could be a huge part of the Nets success too. Thrusted in and out of the starting lineup and into roles he wasn't quite comfortable with, Terry didn't have the season anyone hoped for in Boston. But now with Brooklyn, and playing for a coach in Jason Kidd that he won a championship with as players a few years back, Terry is ready to win another with him.
"I'm just blessed. Very honored to be here," Terry said. "Obviously with another opportunity to compete for a championship. Played with Jason [Kidd]. I know he's going to do an outstanding job as a coach because he was already coaching his entire life basically as a point guard. So I know we're going to be going in the right direction from Day 1. To be able to take another journey with these two outstanding gentlemen right here next to me is just an honor. I've been in Atlanta, Dallas, Boston, and now to be able to call Brooklyn my home, again I'm just very blessed, and honored - and ready, and ready."
Terry had more praise for Kidd later in the press conference, commending Kidd's ability to act as a kind of player-coach on the court and during practice.
"Well those were some of the best years of my career obviously in Dallas, ended up winning a championship, playing alongside Jason was a dream come true.," Terry said. "The best point guard to ever play the game, in my eyes. The entire time, again, he was coaching. If there was a play that needed to be drawn up, he would do it. If there was a practice that needed to be ran, he would be the guy out there making sure all the guys practiced when they didn't want to. He was phenomenal. And that's why I believe this transition for him is going to be as smooth as any because he's been doing it his whole career."
But Kidd can only do so much from the sidelines. If the Nets play as individual super stars, they won't get very far. The 2007-08 Celtics bonded almost immediately, and in turn won a championship that season. The Nets look great on paper, but Garnett knows that the game isn't played on paper.
"When we first arrived here, especially for Paul and I, this is like mirror images [of 2007]," Garnett said. "You see the talent that's already here, you see us coming into it, now it's about how well we jell, everybody understanding one another, learning each other's games, etc. I felt like the difference in the years we spent in Boston where we won vs. when we didn't was the way we dealt with each other and how we communicated with each other. … That's going to be the biggest question mark for this team: How well are we able to jell, and how quickly are we able to jell?"
That's the multi-million dollar question that the Nets hope they find the answer to.