Sam big on Big Three

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:59 AM ET

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell had nothing but good things to say yesterday about the Boston Celtics' Big Three -- Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

But he refused to compare them with another Big Three from Boston's past: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish.

"They haven't won (anything) together yet," Mitchell said of the current group.

Mitchell played alongside Garnett with the Minnesota Timberwolves between 1995 and 2002, until the current Raptors coach retired as a player. The Timberwolves had a Big Three of their own for a time, with Garnett, Tom Gugliotta and Stephon Marbury, but Mitchell said you can't compare those three with the Boston Three.

"They were all young," Mitchell said of the Minnesota Three. "These three (in Boston) are probably in their prime as far as intelligence as basketball players, athletically and understanding how to play the game."

Mitchell became a bit agitated when asked which of the current stars on Boston he would double-team first.

"That would be disrespectful to all three of those guys," he said. "All three deserve the same amount of attention in different ways. I'm not going to stand here and disrespect three guys that will probably be in the Hall of Fame."

Mitchell considers Garnett a friend.

"You understood after the first practice (he had in Minnesota) how good he was going to be," Mitchell said. "He just had a way that he carried himself and worked and how attentive he was and how good he really wanted to be. So we knew after the first practice that he was special."


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