Box Score Bank: Election Night

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Box Score Bank: Election Night

Good news for Doc Rivers. With the Celtics off until tomorrow, he doesn't have to kick himself out of a game to watch tonight's election unfold. Thanks to the schedule, the whole team even you, Darko can kick back and relax in the shadow of presidential history without worrying about another loss. Of the basketball variety, at least.

As it turns out, the Celtics almost never play on Election Night. In fact, they've taken the court on the first Tuesday in November (in an election year) only twice in the last 40 years. The first time was down in New Orleans on November 2, 1976 the night Jimmy Carter knocked off Gerald Ford when the defending champs dropped a 115-97 decision to the Jazz. (Pistol Pete scored 43 for New Orleans).

The most recent time? Well, that occurred on the night of our country's last presidential election, and it's also today's Box Score Bank. So, let's set the flux capacitor for . . .

November 4, 2008

"Whatever You Like" by T.I. sat atop the Billboard charts. High School Musical 3: Senior Year was regrettably the No. 1 movie in America. Jared Sullinger was in the middle of High School Basketball 3: Junior Year (sorry). Sarah Palin was enjoying her last moments of relevance.

And over at the Garden, coach Rivers was celebrating his buddy Barack's big night with a victory over the Rockets:

Final Score: Celtics 103, Rockets 99

Times have certainly changed for the Celtics since America's last big Election Night. First and foremost, they were still the champs, and in the midst of a ridiculous 27-2 start to their title-defending campaign. The time lapse is also evident in the fact that only three players Rondo, Pierce and KG that saw the court against the Rockets are still with Boston today. But while that may seem like a lot of turnover, it's nothing compared to what we've seen in Houston. They've gone through an entire roster reset everyone's gone. And anyway, if the Celtics were going to keep three guys from that year's team, I think they made the right choice.

Although on this night, one of the guys who got away made the biggest contributions to Boston victory: Ray Allen, who torched the Rockets for 29 points, plus a surprisingly-balanced five rebounds and five assists.

But the most surprising thing of all? Doc didn't even get himself ejected!

If there was ever a night he would've been happy to see Bill Kennedy . . .

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

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Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

WALTHAM, Mass. – Like so many players who have spent part of their NBA journey having Kevin Garnett barking in their ear words of encouragement or just telling them to get the hell out his (bleepin’) way, you can count Avery Bradley among those who will miss the man affectionately known as ‘Big Ticket.’

Garnett recently announced his retirement after 21 NBA seasons, leaving behind a legacy that includes an NBA title won with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

Among the current Celtics, Bradley is the only current member of the team who played with Garnett in Boston.

When Bradley got the news about Garnett’s retirement, he said he sat down and wrote Garnett a letter.

“To let him know how much I appreciate him, how special he is to me,” said Bradley who added that his relationship with Garnett was impactful both on and off the court. “Kevin’s just an amazing person.”

Leon Powe, a member of the Celtics’ championship team in 2008 with Garnett, echoed similar praise about his former teammate.

“As a teammate, as a player, KG meant the world to me,” Powe told CSNNE.com. “Intensity … he brought everything you would want to the game, to the practice field, he was just non-stop energy.”

And when you saw it time after time after time with him, pretty soon it became contagious.

“The intensity just motivated every guy on the team, including me,” Powe said. “It made you want to go out and lay it out on the line for him and the team. You see how passionate he is. You see he’s one of the greats. And when you see one of the greats of the NBA going hard like that all the time, you’re like ‘Man, why can’t I do that? It trickled down to me and every young guy on the team.

Powe added, “He brought that every single day, night, morning, it didn’t matter. He brought that intensity. That’s all you could ask for.”

And Garnett’s impact was about more than changing a franchise’s fortunes in terms of wins and losses.

He also proved to be instrumental in helping re-shape the culture into one in which success was once again defined by winning at the highest levels.

“KG has had as big an impact as anybody I’ve been around in an organization,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “The thing that stands out the most to me about KG is his team-first mentality. He never wanted it to be about KG, individual success to trump team success. He lived that in his day-to-day practice. That’s something I’ll remember about him.”