View Full Version : Celtics captain reflects on wild and crazy summer

08-14-2007, 07:38 AM
Celtics captain reflects on wild and crazy summer

Fresh off a flight from his home in Los Angeles, Paul Pierce [stats] caught a limo from Logan Airport to Basketball City for the start of his youth basketball camp yesterday.

And that’s where all familiarity with the city he has known for the last nine years ended.
New teammate Kevin Garnett tossed the first pitch to his new buddy, Red Sox [team stats] slugger David Ortiz [stats], at Fenway Park [map] on Aug. 2.

Ray Allen made the opening coin toss in front of a wildly cheering Gillette Stadium crowd when the Revolution entertained David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.

Pierce, leaning back on a sofa in the Basketball City lobby, shook his head in disbelief at how much the meaning of life as a Celtic has changed in just a few weeks.

“I’ve been here for nine years and I’ve never had the opportunity to do anything like that -- man, throwing out the first pitch at a Red Sox game, incredible,” he said. “These guys haven’t even played a minute yet and look at ’em. But that’s the plan. We’re soothing them, working them in. The idea is to make ’em feel at home for when the season starts.”

Pierce feels refreshingly at home himself, as well.

The Celtics [team stats] captain admitted yesterday that if director of basketball operations Danny Ainge hadn’t parlayed his draft night trade with Seattle for Allen -- a deal that ultimately changed Garnett’s mind about agreeing to a long-term move to Boston -- he would have knocked on management’s door before the summer ended.

Just as Garnett made his decision to agree to a trade after discussing the future of the Timberwolves with owner Glen Taylor, Pierce would have put the same questions to Ainge and Celtics ownership.

The result, without a sizeable upgrade as an answer, likely would have been a trade demand.

“It would have been exactly the same situation for me as it was for (Garnett) -- and the exact same conversation,” Pierce said. “I would have been worried about the situation I would have been put in, and I would have wanted to know where everything was going. As much as I would have wanted to stay after being here for so long, I would definitely have had the same questions.

“I would have talked to management and asked them about what the best thing to do for the both of us would be.”

Ironically, Garnett’s previous distress has eased Pierce’s pain. Asked about his view of the future now, he laughed.

“Now I see myself as being in the position to be here for the rest of my career,” he said. “And then I’ll move into a management position when I’m done.”

Until then, there is enough to keep Pierce’s mind swirling. Yesterday, he touched on a number of those areas:

On the Celtics’ pursuit of 42-year-old Reggie Miller: “All I know is that he’s talked to Danny and Doc (Rivers, coach), which is a good thing, because they know him a lot better than I know him. After all, he’s one of them. He’s a lot closer to their age than mine.
“But I talked with (Rivers) a couple of days ago and told him, ‘See, now that we’re putting together this type of team, everyone wants to be a part of it.”

On a pre-trade report by Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post and ESPN that Garnett didn’t want to come to Boston because of its past record of racial strife: “I didn’t read it, but I just go by what I know from being here for the last nine years. This was not a prime free agent spot, but that’s because of what’s happened with this team. Once you get a player like Garnett, the people will all want to come. There’s just a few people in his category. (Tim) Duncan is one, Shaquille (O’Neal) is another, and I think you’d have to make Garnett the third one in that group.”

On the signing of his former college teammate at Kansas, Scot Pollard: “That will be interesting. I don’t know what he’s going to do with his hair, but I want him to bring back the Mohawk. Yeah, a green Mohawk.”

On Garnett’s impact defensively: “What made us one of the best defensive teams in the league back when we had guys like Eric Williams was the communication and having a guy like Eric who could shout out to people and direct the defense. That’s what Kevin Garnett does for you on defense.”

On the Big 3’s impact on Celtics [team stats] role players: “This is really good for a guy like Scal (Brian Scalabrine). What made him so valuable in New Jersey was that he was able to play with great talent. When he came here we put him into a role he wasn’t used to at first. Before that, his entire career he had thrived as a seventh or eighth man.

“This is going to make Perk (Kendrick Perkins [stats]) a better player, too. But I thought he was starting to show his improvement late in the year. His fouls were down, and that’s him really starting to understand the NBA game in his fourth year.”

08-14-2007, 11:08 AM
I think it might actually work with those three...but time, as she always does, will tell.