Re: Forever a Celtic
posted at 8/9/2013 11:55 AM EDT
In response to DrBoogiebone's comment:
Thanks for posting this. Not sure everyone here realizes the magnitude of losing a guy like Pierce. Shaq nailed it, the guy really was "The Truth", and it's going to suck watching him play for another team. I'm not a prefessional writer, so I'm going to paste an excerpt from Bill Simmons' latest Grantland piece that expresses how I think a lot of us feel (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9522281/the-nba-midnight-run-part-2
My single favorite moment in Midnight Run goes to Pierce, one of the six best Celtics ever and someone who deserved to retire in Boston if that's what he wanted to do. Which, by the way, he wanted to do. This post-trade interview with Jackie MacMullan was telling …… a shellshocked Pierce saying, "Look at the other players like Tim Duncan, Kobe, Dirk, you look at all those guys — they win a championship there, similar to what I've done. It really kind of hurt, you look throughout the season and Mark Cuban says, 'We're never trading Dirk,' or they say 'We're never trading Tim,' 'We're gonna re-sign Kobe,' and nothing really being said about me. I'm in trade rumors. So that part, you know you think about it, it hurts."
He's right. He's 100 percent right. Paul Pierce never wanted to play anywhere else, and no true Celtics fan wanted to see anything like this. Still, watching Pierce (and, to a lesser degree, KG) play for another franchise is going to be brutal. And I don't know what the right answer is here. I really don't. The Celtics allowed Bird, McHale and Parish to age gracefully together once upon a time, followed by eight solid years of misery … and I have to say, I'd sign up for that again. I loved those 1991, 1992 and 1993 teams because of the late Reggie Lewis, but also because we kept the Big Three — because we didn't trade them, and only because they were f-ing Celtics and you don't trade your guys like that.But Boston wanted to buy a Riggin' for Wiggins ticket, so they crippled this year's team by dealing Pierce and KG for three unprotected first-round picks (2014, 2016, 2018), along with the right to swap first-rounders with Brooklyn in 2017. If anything happens to Brooklyn during the middle of this decade — a real possibility considering Brook Lopez's injury history, as well as a 32-year-old Deron Williams and a 34-year-old Joe Johnson making $46 million combined during the 2015-16 season — this deal could become the "Gail Goodrich to New Orleans for two future no. 1 picks" trade for this generation. It's the biggest reason why I'm having Joe Johnson and Deron Williams voodoo dolls made next week.
Danny Ainge went the other way, just as he always hinted he would because of his experience watching the Big Three grow old. I get it. I understand it. Down the road, I'm sure I will appreciate it. But right now? It hurts like hell. Paul Pierce was our dude. We spent 15 seasons with him in all, and as I wrote after Game 6 of the 2008 Finals, "We watched that guy grow up. We watched him become a man. We believed in him, we gave up on him, and we believed in him again." Some things are bigger than sports.
I think that's why Cuban kept Dirk — because they won together in 2011, and because he couldn't bear the thought of the Best Maverick Ever playing for another team. It might not be the smartest move, but it's certainly more relatable. Human, even. Watching no. 34 play for the Nets will never feel right, and I will never feel good about it. Alas. See you in the next life, Paul."