Boston Celtics Appreciative of Paul Pierce’s Loyalty and Longevity

by February 08, 2012

As expected, Paul Pierce moved past Larry Bird last night, becoming the second all-time leader in scoring for the Boston Celtics. His coaches and teammates understand the significance of Pierce’s production, and his loyalty to the franchise. Per the Boston Herald: “The current state of the NBA considered, with fewer stars remaining with their original teams, moments like Pierce’s move past Larry Bird into second place on the Celtics [team stats]’ career scoring list might eventually become a thing of the past. ‘I hope not. I hope not,’ Doc Rivers said after the C’s 94-84 win against the Charlotte Bobcats. ‘There are some guys who are staying — and again, I don’t begrudge guys who leave. They play themselves into those positions and those opportunities, so they have that chance. But I do like it when guys just say, ‘You know what? This is my team; I’m going to make this better. I’m going to stick it out.’ I love when I see that. So I think you’ll still see some, but not as many, clearly. Kobe (Bryant) coming up. (Dwyane) Wade. You know, Dwyane Wade has added some friends, but he’s never left Miami. So there’s a lot of guys. I would be shocked to see (Derrick) Rose ever leave Chicago. There’s still some good cases.’ That includes the case of his own captain. You know, here’s the part I wish people wrote more about Paul: Paul had a chance to leave us when we were bad,’ Rivers said. ‘And instead of moaning that he wanted to go to a championship team, he stayed. And he said, I simply want to be a Celtic and I trust that we’re going to win a title some day. He had no reason to believe that, at that time. I mean, we were pretty awful. And to me, I wish people talked about his loyalty more, because I think that’s special, especially in this day and time, when everybody’s jumping from team to team. And that’s their right, too. I don’t begrudge that with anybody, but I do think it’s special that Paul Pierce decided that he wanted to be a Celtic for his life. And I think that’s pretty cool. In this day and time, in any sport, I think that’s special.’ Kevin Garnett, while acknowledging that these one-team tenures are fading away, blamed it on the business of the NBA. ‘It’s sad to say that, but the business of basketball has created that,’ he said. ‘This is me talking, but the way teams went into negotiations, with shorter contracts — when you’re signing five-year max deals instead of seven, it makes it very hard for an individual to stay with one franchise. . . . The record is one thing. But it sends such a big message. It couldn’t happen to a better character person. That’s going to be rarer, and that’s sad.'”