SBD/Closing Bell

Celtics Thank Pierce, Garnett; Nets' Kirilenko Deal Raises Eyebrows

The Celtics took out an ad in Friday morning's Boston Globe thanking players Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who are departing for the Nets, for their time with the team. The accomplishments mentioned in the ad include the franchise's 17th NBA championship (THE DAILY).

Meanwhile, the Nets' signing of Andrei Kirilenko for the team's $3.1M "mini-midlevel exception has transformed rival owners and front office executives into an angry mob of disbelievers." Kirilenko, who played for Russian club CSKA Moscow formerly owned by Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov, made $10M last season with the T'Wolves. Around the league, there are "calls for the commissioner's office to investigate the possibilities of side deals." One NBA owner said, "Let's see if the league has any credibility. It's not about stopping it. It's about punishing them if they're doing it" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/12).
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