July 31, 2007: The Minnesota Timberwolves trade future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Al Jefferson, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, and two first-round draft picks.
After spending the first 12 seasons of his career as the center of the Timberwolves franchise, Garnett was finally set to play for a contender in search of his first championship.
Coming off a 24-58 season in 2006-07, the Celtics essentially gutted their entire roster aside from Paul Pierce in order to acquire Ray Allen from the Supersonics, and Garnett from the Timberwolves.
Celtics fans had high expectations coming into 2007-08 season, after adding two future Hall of Fame players to their roster. In a weeks time Vegas had moved the Celtics odds of winning the title from 100-1 to 5-1.
They did not disappoint. The team opened the season winning their first eight games, and finished the year with league-best 66-16 record, and earned home court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs.
Clearly the favorites going into the playoffs, the expectation was to win a championship, and anything else would have been considered a disappointment. The Celtics struggled in their first two postseason series. Both the Hawks and the Cavaliers forced them to seven games.
Facing the Pistons in the conference finals, the Celtics were able to defeat them in six games.
The Celtics were now set to resume the NBA's most famous rivalry, facing Kobe Bryant and the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the finals.
Going into the series the Celtics had an NBA-best 16 championships under their belt, and the Lakers had the second-most with 14. This renewed the rivalry 21 years after their last meeting in the 1987 NBA Finals.
Behind Garnett, who had won Defensive Player of the Year that season, the Celtics were able to defeat the Lakers in six games.
Beating their biggest rival was the icing on the cake for a fairy-tale season. It also secured the legacies of future Hall of Famers Pierce, Allen, and Garnett, each of whom earned their first championship rings.