In Appreciation Of Paul Pierce

paul pierceDime Magazine approached me to take part in a piece they’re doing about the ’07-’08 NBA season.  I wrote up a bunch of stuff for them… but I know how these things work.  They might use a few sentences… or none of it at all… depending on space and content limitations.  So I figured I’d share what I wrote about Paul Pierce in its entirety for you guys:

Its hard to explain the feelings that go along with covering, and being a fan of, a team that has made the biggest single-season turnaround in NBA history.  Everyone wants things tied up in a neat little package.  But this story is too complex for that.  However… there is in one player that might capture the turnaround best: Paul Pierce.
 
After last season, the calls to trade Paul Pierce were as loud as ever, especially after rumors started swirling that Pierce himself was sick of losing and wanted out.  Like a pimple on a 17-year-old girl’s forehead the day before the prom, every blemish in Paul’s game was being magnified and overblown.  He was selfish… he was a malcontent… he didn’t play defense.
 
Enter KG, Ray Allen, and a whole new attitude.
 
Suddenly, Paul Pierce became a tough perimeter defender.  He’s passing the ball more, shooting it less (and at a higher percentage), spreading the credit around.  He’s taking over games, hitting clutch free throws, helping young guys. 
 
Paul Pierce embodies everything that has changed since Kevin Garnett got here:  A change in attitude, a commitment to defense, complete unselfishness on the offensive end, and above all else… the unyielding drive to raise a 17th banner to restore the Celtics to their past pedestal atop the NBA.

WBZ TV:  4 minute interview with Paul Pierce  |  Herald:  Pierce may sit  |  Team respects Rondo’s point  |  Globe: Cassell, Brown trying to fit in  |  Souza:  Celtics get defensive  |  USA Today:  NBA wealth… or College glory? (Pierce quoted)  |  BlackAthlete.net:  Superior team deserves superlatives  |  Taunton Gazette:  Why KG should be MVP  |  SI:  Celtics strictly business  |  Bulls beat Cavs  |  TrueHoop:  What was Allan Houston doing in Phoenix?  |  DeShawn Stevenson’s wild 80′s themed party  |  Larry Brown bored, wants to coach again

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3 Responses

  1. Nice work Johnny boy. You are spot on with PP.

    Not sure why Mark Murphy writes that Pierce might miss Saturday’s game….when Dickerson made it seem like fact during Wednesday night’s game.

  2. In the NBA, PLAYERs working seamlessly together win games … series, and championships … and, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen and Leon Powe are all terrific basketball PLAYERs who know you how to share the ball efficiently on offense, rebound, and defend, in a unified way that displays the level of commitment required to restore what was once known world-wide as “Celtic Pride” (i.e. a Core Covenant concept which is fundamental to championship success).

    Once this was (re-)established the remainder of the puzzle was re-configured easily … with the necessary ‘Role PLAYERs’ (i.e. Kendrick Perkins, Eddie House, James Posey, Brian Scalabrine, Scott Pollard, Genn Davis, Gabe Pruitt and, now, PJ Brown & Sam Cassell) each accepting their place within the Boston machine … under the direction of Doc Rivers (& Co.).

    Sincere kudos to Danny Ainge (GM) for assembling this fine group of men … with the fibre it takes to accomplish this task … and restore the image of what it means to be a “BOSTON CELTIC”, in the legacy of Bill Russell, Sam Jones, Hondo, Cousy, and Red (etc.).

    Circa June 2008 … All is right in the world of ‘Pro Hoops’, again … Boston vs Los Angeles (Lakers), in 7 games, to decide the NBA Championship … a fine to be alive for a tried and true Celtics’ fan.

  3. I don’t think that the criticism of Pierce last year was nearly what you made it out to be. And the rumors about trading Pierce lasted about 30 hours at most (right before the draft), and there never truly was a plausible rumor.

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