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Homecomings for former players can be bittersweet, and for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, their return to Boston was no exception. Pierce and Garnett brought a championship to a franchise that seemed to have lost its way, and the Celtics showed their appreciation for the two stars with separate tribute videos on Sunday night. For his part, Paul Pierce seemed touched:

"This was the toughest game I've ever had to play," Pierce said after the game. "Tougher than any championship, tougher than any Game 7." Normally we'd doubt a statement like that regarding a game against a 15-31 team, but in this case, we get it.

Celtics' tribute to Pierce and Garnett

Who will be remembered as the better player?

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  • Should the Celtics retire Paul Pierce's number when his career is over?

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  • Should the Celtics retire Kevin Garnett's number when his career is over?

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They say that nothing ever ends well -- otherwise it wouldn't end at all. Ray Allen knows how that feels -- after signing with the Heat last offseason, he became persona non grata to former Big Three stalwarts Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Now that Garnett and Pierce are out of Boston as well, however, Allen's new teammates are pointing out what they feel is a bit of hypocrisy. LeBron James in particular thinks the ex-Celtics owe Allen an apology for their comments. We're sure all of these grown men can handle a little disrespect, but does LeBron have a point?

Here's a sampling of what readers had to say in our Facebook conversation on the story:

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

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Knicks or Nets in New York?

The Knicks have been the kings of basketball in New York for years, but the Nets' move to Brooklyn has players on both sides gearing up for a battle for succession. Paul Pierce thinks New York will eventually be a Nets town, while Knicks point guard Raymond Felton says Pierce is just trying to fuel a rivalry. A revamped Nets team could prove to be up to the challenge of dislodging the Knicks, but it's not like the original New York team has been standing pat this offseason.

Knicks point guard Raymond Felton said that the Nets wil ''never take over the city.'' Which team will be more popular in New York in ten years' time?

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  • Which team will have the better record this season?

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  • Which team is a more attractive target for free agents?

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  • Who will be a bigger asset to the Nets this season?

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  • What kind of NBA coach will Jason Kidd be?

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The Brooklyn Nets enter Year 2 of their return to New York with a new, win-now look after the big offseason trade to get Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. It did not take long for both the Nets and the Knicks to lay claim to the hearts and minds of all New Yorkers. Re-signed J.R. Smith insists that the Knicks have not lost any ground to the Nets. New Net Pierce says his hate for the Knicks "has grown a little" and that he's ready to have his new team take over his new city. Let the fireworks begin!


Better lineup?

The Nets added Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to their starting lineup, while the Knicks' starters should be the same as last season.

SportsNation

Which team will have the better starting lineup in 2013-14?

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Battle for New York?

Last year, New York and Brooklyn tied the season series with two wins each, but the Knicks won the Atlantic Division by five games over the Nets.

SportsNation

The Knicks and Nets play four times in 2013-14. How will the series go?

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One more title?

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett teamed up to win a title with the Boston Celtics in the 2007-08 season, the only championship for both.

SportsNation

Will Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett win an NBA title with the Nets?

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NBA releases 2013-14 schedule

The bad news: The NBA doesn't start for nearly three months. The good news: We know where and when that -- and all the other regular-season games -- will happen, as the league released its 2013-14 schedule on Tuesday. Opening night features a couple of marquee matchups, with the presumably Derrick Rose-ified Chicago Bulls visiting the defending-champion Miami Heat, and the surging Los Angeles Clippers facing the scuffling Los Angeles Lakers. Also on the docket: a typically packed Christmas Day, along with big reunions between Dwight Howard and the Lakers (Nov. 7) and the return of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Boston (Jan. 26).

  • Which of these 2013-14 regular-season NBA games are you most looking forward to?

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  • The L.A. teams square off on opening night. How many times will the Clippers beat the Lakers this season?

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  • Which Christmas Day game are you most looking forward to?

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  • Do you feel bad about the Heat having to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas on the road?

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  • How many regular-season NBA games do you usually attend per year?

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  • Which NBA team will finish with the best record in 2013-14?

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