Dime 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