Pierce Not Done With Boston … Yet?





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Just because Paul Pierce wears the black and white of the Brooklyn Nets these days it does not mean he isn’t Boston Celtics green at his core.

And I’m not mad at him. In a day and age when loyalty in professional sports is strictly a seven-letter word, it’s refreshing to hear Pierce, a Celtic for his entire NBA career prior to this summer’s trade between Brooklyn and Boston, speak as fondly as he does about the city he called home for the bulk of his adult life.

Pierce didn’t roll off to chase championships in Brooklyn with a bitter taste in his mouth. Sure, he and Kevin Garnett and the rest of the Nets will be on a mission this season. But a veteran like Pierce is wise to think about life after his playing days are over. And as he told Boston Globe columnist Gary Washburn, Boston will play a prominent role in his life when he’s finished playing:

Pierce said he wants to be a fixture in Boston following his playing days, not just showing up for his retirement ceremony and heading to Malibu, Calif., the next morning. Pierce said he wants to establish something substantial in Boston, having grown attached to the city despite growing up in Inglewood, Calif., as a Lakers fan.

“Ultimately, what I would like to do is have a business in Boston,” he said. “Maybe like a sports bar. I would love to do something like that here. None of the former Celtic great players have come and done that. I thought about it, and why hasn’t anyone come and opened up a nice restaurant? You see the Don Shula restaurant, the Michael Jordan restaurant, and Magic [Johnson] got the theaters in LA. Why nobody here? All this history, all these championships and love, why has nobody done that?

“I am going to still have relationships here. I’m always going to come to this city. Every year, when I’m done, I’m going to have a reason to come here.”

Pierce said he holds no grudges toward the Celtics, and again pointed to a future relationship with the organization.

“Who knows? I may be working for Wyc Grousbeck or Danny Ainge,” he said. “A lot of players don’t understand it. I’ve always understood it. And [other players] let their pride and ego get in the way. I’ve made a lot of money here, I’ve built relationships, won a championship here, I thank y’all for everything y’all gave me. How can I be mad for everything they’ve given me. I’m thankful.”

The prospect of reaching the championship pinnacle again with the Nets is intriguing.

“Me and my best friend growing up were talking and he said, ‘Man, what if you win a championship in Brooklyn? Then what?’ ” Pierce said. “It’s another level then. There’s a chance I could move up in the [all-time] ranks if I get another championship. So I am still going. And they’ve given me more tools and I’ve got something to build.”

Pierce said the Celtics should have no trouble attracting major free agents. “The city of Boston has changed so much since I’ve been here,” he said. “There are so many more things to do and the city has grown. I think it would be a great place to play.

“I enjoyed it here. Hopefully, the fact that guys like me and Kevin liked it here is a sign to other players that it’s a good city to play in. I’m excited about playing in Brooklyn, though. There weren’t too many places I wanted to go if I had to leave Boston, but Brooklyn is one of them.”

The Nets, at least on paper, should have a much more manageable road to the postseason this season than the Celtics, who are fully rebuilding. But Pierce is right, the work done during his time in Boston helped change the perception of that city for many.

Pierce left town a winner, as a vital piece in the timeline of one of the most storied franchises in the history of professional sports in this country. That can’t be a bad way to go out, especially when you consider what his profile was prior to the assembly of Boston’s Big 3 of Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen.

Allen made it clear that there is indeed plenty of glory left to chase elsewhere when he departed for Miami and added another title to his Hall of Fame credentials. But he’ll never be received in Boston the way Pierce and even Garnett will years from now.

Pierce will go down as one of the Celtics’ all-time greats not only for his accomplishments, but also for the length of his service to the Celtics and their fans. Fifteen years … that’s an eternity in professional sports.

So if Pierce says he’s not done with Boston yet, that’s probably a good thing for all involved.

27 Comments

  1. Pierce is a great Celtic and will always be one . As a lifetime Celtic fan I enjoyed his years as a Celtic and wish him the best.

  2. Yan says:

    That’s the reason why when players jump ship ( ie LeBron, Ray Allen, Melo, etc…) I don’t get mad. Here’s a guy who put a lot of sweat equity into a franchise, and they didn’t even have the decency of letting him retire there. He could have left when the Celtics were among the worst teams in the league, but he stayed. Another example is that of Bruce Bowen, dedicating a lot of years to the Spurs. They got rid of him under the pretense that they were going young. Forget these teams. Players need to do what is best for them, their careers and their families. Teams are not loyal to players at all, but THAT, doesn’t make the headlines in the news. The media is so biased.

  3. ac says:

    He should go back to Boston. He will never be a New Yorker.

  4. lordkgm says:

    Pierce is a first ballot hall of famer. Boston shouldn’t be done with him either and should show him the same love he showed them over 15 years! Go Brooklyn!!!

  5. Denholm says:

    Paul Pierce one of the all time great players and great celtics, i sincerely hope that he is welcomed back with open arms to the garden, because he is one of the franchise icons, same as bird and russell.

  6. J says:

    the nets are a beast!!!

  7. nairbyor says:

    kevin garnett 4ever

  8. nairbyor says:

    go nets

  9. I would love to see Paul Pierce return for a final season to the Celtics.

  10. mr.ed says:

    even as a laker fan, i was oddly saddened when i heard that paul pierce had been traded.
    i’d always hoped that guys like pierce, duncan and obviously kobe would spend their whole careers with their respective teams.
    players leaving for teams in better situations is so commonplace nowadays that a player sticking through with his team is admirable, even if the team and player are the lakers arch-rivals.

  11. 2014OKC says:

    Those of you who are not Bostonians just don’t understand. There is a very strong conncection to the sports teams there. And I can imagine that Pierce, after spending 15 years in Boston and for the Celtics, feeling the way he does. Yes, he has moved on, and yes, he has the greatest potential to win more championships. Go Nets, I agree w/ that too. But Boston is such a beautiful city and although I no longer live there either, I will never forget those things I most enjoyed about it…Go Pierce.

    • Akeem says:

      I don’t know what we are not getting. The Celtics just gave him the BOOT. They kicked him OUT, and basically said take KG with you, we don’t need you any more and want to move on, BYE. Okay maybe not so coldly, but ….. they did NOT give him the chance to finish out his career in Boston. How’s THAT for loyalty ?? … Is any body getting THAT ???

      The Celtics just showed the world why players needn’t worry about trying to be loyal to a team. I want the Nets to win one for PP now, the more I think about it.

  12. Filipino Idiot says:

    The Nets are so messed up this year!!! Pierce will play bad on purpose cuz Boston green is his true color!!!!

    • GW says:

      your name says it all Idiot. once a competitor, always a competitor. not all of us coast through life waiting for things to happen. Competitors make it happen. Wake up kid

  13. pootsie says:

    Ain’t that the TRUTH. :-)

  14. bballjunkie1 says:

    Loyalty works both ways, as a player and organization. Boston certainly went out and brought what was needed to keep Paul around because they have a tradition of knowing how to win and what it takes. Players give their prime years in 1, 2 contracts and I personally don’t blame any player who realizes that I ‘ll be 30 years old and we are still where we at. I am moving on. Just sayin it goes both ways. Props to Paul, Red is smiling !!!

  15. fan says:

    Man you all (including this writer) are brianwashed by the media. Allen left to ‘chase glory’ while Pierce stayed because he was ‘loyal’. He was good and nothing more. He had no reason to leave because they brought in the big three, they were winning and it is the city where his life is. If they hadn’t started winning he probably would have gone in the free agency. He wasn’t so popular or percieved this way before they started winning.

  16. t says:

    God I love Paul Pierce

  17. LS says:

    Spoken like someone who cares about the city and the people who supported him over the years. It doesn’t happen very often but I agree with Sekou, Pierce didn’t run out seeking a team that he could possibly win a championship with; he was loyal to Boston. Gotta love a guy that’s loyal since it’s so rare these days – on both sides. For Pierce and Garnett’s sakes, I say GO NETS!

    • Akeem says:

      It’s good that PP and Boston had such a good relationship that I’m sure will resume after his retirement.

      I think this player loyalty is taken too far. Teams AREN’T loyal to players They trade them at the drop of a dime, for the sake of making more money and/or winning. Boston and PP and KG are a prime example. They got the BOOT. Where’s the TEAM’S loyalty??? Who’s blaming Boston for not being loyal??

      …so if teams don’t need to be loyal, why should players?? It’s business for both sides,…winning and/or making money.

    • LOL says:

      Loyalty is rare these days for players? How about the other way around too. Teams AREN’T *NORMALLY* that loyal to players. They trade them in the blink of an eye most times, without even advsing them even in some cases at all. So please. Players dont have any more responsbiility to be loyal to their team than the team does to them. Its abll about business and winning thats how it works.

  18. Alex says:

    jojo white actually opened up a sports bar in boston :) i think it might still be open, although i havent heard great reviews…

  19. Kramoyag says:

    moving on is the right decision ! Go Brooklyn !

  20. Akeem says:

    He’s not done in Brooklyn either, he is just beginning. He will compete for rings in BK just as hard. A competitor is a competitor. He is also a champion and wants to continue being a champion. LET’S GO NETS !!!!