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Top Boston Sports Stories of 2013, No. 6: Celtics trade Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers 12.27.13 at 9:23 am ET
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Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 13 stories of 2013 in Boston sports. This is No. 16: Celtics trade Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers. To see the previous entries, click here.

The move seemed incomprehensible at first.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Brooklyn Nets jerseys? Impossible.

The Celtics' rebuilding began with the offseason trades of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers. (AP)

The Celtics‘ rebuilding began with the offseason trades of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers. (AP)

Sure, Pierce and Garnett’€™s best days clearly are behind them, but these men had led Boston to two NBA Finals and the organization’€™s first title since 1986.

But on June 27, Celtics€™ president of basketball operations Danny Ainge completed a trade that marked a changing of the guard. Boston traded Pierce, an revered 15-year Celtic who persevered through incredibly ugly times in Boston, and Garnett, the man perhaps most responsible for the franchise’s drastic turnaround, and began the inevitable rebuilding process for the Celtics.

The Nets also received Jason Terry, who disappointed in one season for the Celtics. His year in Boston will be remembered more for the posterizing dunk LeBron James laid on him than his contributions to the team.

“We would like to thank Paul, Kevin and Jason for everything that they have done for this franchise,”€ Ainge said. “€œWe would not have won Banner 17 without Paul and Kevin, and they will go down amongst the all-time great players to have ever worn a Celtics uniform.”

The Celtics garnered three first-round picks (2014, ‘€˜16, ‘€˜18) along with Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks and Keith Bogans for the trio.

“We are excited to welcome Gerald, Kris, Keith, MarShon and Kris to the Celtics family. They bring a wealth of talent, experience, depth, and flexibility to our team,” Ainge said.

With Terry, Pierce and Garnett scheduled to make a combined $33.4 million in the 2013-14 season, and considering that the most appealing return Boston received was the three first-round picks, the move was widely viewed as a salary dump and the beginning of the Celtics’€™ rebuilding process.

The band began to break up earlier in the summer when Boston shipped coach Doc Rivers to the Clippers.

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Read More: Boston Sports Stories of the Year 2013, Danny Ainge, Gerald Wallace, Jason Terry
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Shocked Chiefs attend memorial service for Jovan Belcher 12.06.12 at 8:03 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Broncos at Raiders, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Knicks at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Mavericks at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Vanderbilt at Xavier, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Long Beach State at Syracuse, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Chiefs players gather outside a memorial service for Jovan Belcher on Wednesday in Kansas City. (AP)

♦ Chiefs players and staff attended a private memorial service Wednesday for Jovan Belcher, the linebacker who killed his girlfriend and then himself over the weekend.

General manager Scott Pioli gave a eulogy for Belcher during the one-hour service. Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel tried to calm Belcher before the player shot himself in the stadium parking lot on Saturday.

“It was rough on him,” Hall of Famer Bobby Bell said of Pioli. “It’s a sad situation. You never want to be put under those situations. … You don’t want to see things like that. For him to get up and say something, I don’t know how he got through it.”

Chiefs players attending the service had little or nothing to say, but Bell summed up their feelings.

“You don’t wish this on anyone,” said Bell, a Chiefs linebacker/defensive end from 1963-74. “He’s done what he did, and it’s over with, and now we have to sit back and see where we go from here. I’m in a daze. … I can’t understand a young kid, 25 years old … his life is in front of him, and for it to be cut this short.

“Now the team has to move forward. It’s tough on them. A lot of the guys … when you see somebody and played with them, your buddy, your friend … he was just too young, man.”

Meanwhile, it was reported Wednesday that the estate of guardian of Belcher’s infant daughter will receive more than $1 million under terms of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.

♦ Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who served jail time after accidentally discharging a gun at a nightclub when he was with the Giants, talked about NFL players and guns in the wake of the Belcher murder-suicide. Burress said he didn’t think NFL players would change their attitudes despite the tragedy in Kansas City.

“Things like this happen to people every day,” Burress told USA Today. “It just happened to be Jovan, somebody that we knew. That’s why we’re having this discussion. But it goes on in society all the time.”

Added Burress: “It’s not really the culture of the NFL, it’s about what’s going on in society today.”

Gerald Wallace became the second NBA player to be fined for flopping, joining Nets teammate Reggie Evans on the list of offenders. Wallace was fined $5,000 Wednesday, after the league reviewed his third-quarter dive while guarding LeBron James during Saturday’s 102-89 loss to the Heat. Wallace’s first flop came during a 96-89 overtime victory over the Knicks, when he was defending Carmelo Anthony.

The Nets are the only team with more than one player who violated the new rules.

♦ Utah State basketball player Danny Berger was in critical condition Wednesday after collapsing at practice a day earlier. The 22-year-old junior had to be revived via CPR and a defibrillator after he stopped breathing.

Berger’s older brother, John, read from a prepared statement Wednesday and thanked assistant athletic trainer Mike Williams for his prompt response.

“He saved my brother’s life and I thank God for him,” an emotional John Berger said.

Wednesday night’s scheduled game at Brigham Young was postponed due to Berger’s situation.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 6, 1976, the Red Sox traded a young Cecil Cooper to the Brewers for which two players?

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Read More: Danny Berger, Gerald Wallace, Jovan Belcher, Plaxico Burress
NBA roundup: Nets retain Deron Williams after acquiring Joe Johnson 07.04.12 at 11:33 am ET
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Deron Williams

Although no new contracts can officially be signed until July 11, a few teams already have reached agreements with some free agents. Here’s a recap of all the moves from a busy day Tuesday.

The Nets, preparing for their first season in Brooklyn, stole almost all the headlines. They came to an agreement to re-sign sought-after point guard Deron Williams, who hinted at his decision Tuesday night by tweeting a picture of the Nets logo. The deal reportedly is for five years and $98 million. Last season Williams averaged 21 points per game for the Nets.

The Williams deal came after reports that the Nets agreed to a multiplayer trade with the Hawks that will send Joe Johnson to Brooklyn in exchange for Jordan Farmar, DeShawn Stevenson, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams along with a first-round draft pick.

In other Nets moves, the team landed forward Reggie Evans from the Clippers in a sign-and-trade and signed Bosnian power forward Mirza Teletovic, who played last season in Spain.

Brooklyn’s flurry of moves come two days after the team reportedly agreed with Gerald Wallace on a four-year, $40 million deal. Wallace, acquired by the Nets at the trade deadline, averaged 13.8 points and 6.7 rebounds last season in Portland and New Jersey.

The Hawks also were busy Tuesday. In addition to the trade of Johnson, Atlanta reportedly agreed to swap forward Marvin Williams for Jazz guard Devin Harris. Williams averaged 10.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season, while Harris averaged 13 points per game.

Eric Gordon, a restricted free agent guard for the Hornets, opted to sign with the Suns for a reported four-year contract worth $58 million. The Hornets are expected to match the offer within the three-day limit, although Gordon said he would like to play for Phoenix.

The Raptors reportedly reached an agreement with Knicks guard Landry Fields for $20 million over three years. Because Fields is a restricted free agent, the Knicks have three days to match the offer. Last season Fields averaged 4.2 rebounds and 8.8 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field.

Read More: Deron Williams, devin harris, Eric Gordon, Gerald Wallace
Report: Nets sign F Gerald Wallace to four-year deal 07.01.12 at 8:32 pm ET
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The Nets have re-signed small forward Gerald Wallace to a four-year deal worth $40 million, according to ESPN.

Wallace, 29, opted out of the final year of his contract last month but apparently had the intent of staying with Brooklyn. He was scheduled to earn $9.5 million this year before he opted out.

The Nets acquired Wallace from the Trail Blazers at the trade deadline in exchange for Mehmut Okur, Shawne Williams and a top-three-protected first-round pick. Since the Nets were sixth in the lottery, the pick went to the Blazers, who selected Damian Lillard.

Wallace averaged 15.2 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Nets over 16 games.

Read More: Gerald Wallace, Rumor Mill,
National analysis of Thursday’s NBA trades 02.25.11 at 12:13 pm ET
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Gerald Wallace was one of the big-name players on the move Thursday, as he was shipped from the Bobcats to the Trail Blazers. (AP)

Although the Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams trades earlier this week made the biggest NBA headlines, Thursday, the day of the trade deadline, was the busiest day in terms of the number of deals.

The Thursday deal receiving the most attention, especially around here, is the Celtics’ trade of Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic.

Here at WEEI.com, Paul Flannery writes that the trade was a bold move that Danny Ainge agonized over before deciding to take the gamble. Flannery says the deal could turn out to be brilliant, or it could end up looking reckless.

Out in Oklahoma City, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman writes that Perkins gives the Thunder some much-needed toughness in the low post and that he should fit in perfectly with what the team is trying to do. Tramel says Green will be missed and other guys will have to step up to replace his scoring, but that the trade ultimately makes the Thunder better.

Also busy on Thursday were the Rockets, who sent Shane Battier and Ish Smith to the Grizzlies for Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll and a first-round pick. Moisekapenda Bower of Fox Sports Houston writes that the Rockets are looking to the future with this deal and waving the white flag for this season. The Memphis Flyer’s Chris Herrington says Battier gives the Grizzlies a defensive boost and some depth while also ridding them of a “colossal bust” in Thabeet.

The Rockets also traded Aaron Brooks to the Suns for Goran Dragic and a first-round pick. Bower says acquiring Dragic and a first-round pick, along with the other first-round pick from the Battier deal, give the Rockets some solid building blocks for the future. In Phoenix, Suns president Lon Babby told Sports 620 KTAR that Brooks makes the team better this season, but that he doesn’t expect him to be Steve Nash‘s heir apparent at point guard.

Meanwhile, the Clippers dealt Baron Davis and a first-round pick to the Cavaliers in exchange for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon. Lisa Dillman and Baxter Holmes write in The Los Angeles Times that the move gives the Clippers future salary cap flexibility and officially makes Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon the leaders of the team. Rick Noland of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram says the trade brightens the Cavaliers’ future by giving them an unprotected first-round pick.

Finally, the Bobcats surprised everyone by sending franchise player Gerald Wallace to the Trail Blazers for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two first-round picks. John Canzano of The Oregonian writes that the deal gives the Trail Blazers something to celebrate and calls it a “slam-dunk trade.” Meanwhile, Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer says the move makes the Bobcats “terrible” and rids them of the only star they’ve ever had simply because they didn’t want to pay him.

Read More: Aaron Brooks, Baron Davis, Danny Ainge, Gerald Wallace