In a surprise move, former NBA stars Reggie Miller, Chris Webber, and Gary Payton have emerged from retirement to give the game one last chance.
The Celtics have recently taken fire over the ages of their “big three,” Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. All three have spurned notions of retirement and instead, have opted to continue playing the game they love.
Kevin Garnett, 72, denies that his senior citizen status is enough to keep him off the court. He believes that a team’s mentality takes precedence over a player’s age.
“We know that in order for us to turn this around, it doesn’t matter how many coaches they bring in here, assistants, weight trainers, whoever, we’re the ones that are going [to]have to turn it around. And I think [we] just took that responsibility on ourselves.”
Paul Pierce, 51, feels that his age only makes him better. A few gray hairs and a hip replacement won’t stop him. “The rim is looking bigger and bigger every game,” he said.
That’s the cataracts, Paul.
Coach Doc Rivers met with Miller, Webber, and Payton last week and after careful deliberation, signed the three players to one-year contracts. The front office hopes the three will provide some much-needed youth to the roster.
Miller, 44, who played the entirety of his career with the Pacers, will bring an explosive three-point game to a Celtics team suffering from the outside-shooting blues.
Webber, 37, has the experience, but will likely fall under Kevin Garnett as the big man’s new protege. The former NBA journeyman will be one of the few young guns on the team, providing a nice set of fresh knees for a potential playoff run.
Payton, 41, is making his final return to Boston—a return neither the player nor the team expected. One of the most complete guards in the history of the game, Payton has the speed to turn the Celtics’ aging woes around once and for all.
Aside from the new additions serving as a cornerstone of youth in the rotation, the front office now has the option to sign one, or all, to long-term contracts next year in the wake of a potential decision for retirement on the part of Pierce, Allen, and Garnett.
Oh, and if it wasn’t painfully clear already: April Fool’s.