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Red's Army

Paul Pierce: The last great Celtic

RedsArmyAdmin July 29, 2009 Uncategorized 27 Comments


Pierce and red2
I wish I knew how to stop time.  If I could, I'd do it right now.

But
Father Time is a stubborn bastard.  He's not stopping for anyone.  So
before we know it, Paul Pierce will be standing at center court at the
Garden… tears in his eyes… thanking Boston fans before he, the last
great Celtic, plays the last game of his career.

No, I'm not
in a hurry to see him off.  But the next three, four or five years will
fly by.  They always do.  And I want to appreciate what Paul Pierce is,
and has been, while he's still doing it.  He's still an elite player,
albeit one at the tail end of his career.  Now's the time to put what
he's been doing in proper perspective… not when it also serves as a
reminder of his greatness.  We've got a few years left to witness the
last player to TRULY embody what we have come to love about this
franchise.

Pierce and red I know there will be other guys who wear this
uniform for their entire careers.  Maybe a few of them will pass Pierce
on some of the team's all-time lists.  Some will have their numbers
raised to the rafters.  But none of that matters.  It doesn't matter if
that guy is the best player in Celtics history.  He's still not going
to be what Paul Pierce is now.  That's because Paul is the last of them
to know Red Auerbach.

That matters.  With each passing day,
Red becomes more myth than reality.  He is as much a part of Celtics
folklore as he is part of its history.  His exploits are romanticized. 
His accomplishments defended, maybe a bit embellished, when stacked
against people (like Phil Jackson) who have the audacity to pile up
accomplishments in a different era.   Red is a legend.  The one and only
true King of the Celtics kingdom.  And Pierce was the last man he
knighted.

"He's one of my favorite kids," Red once said of Paul.  "Pierce is a typical Celtics kid.  All he wants to do is win."

I
could go into the stabbing, and how he didn't miss a single game over
the next two years.  I could also go into his petulant stage that
turned some public opinion against him.  But that's just rehash. 
Paul's story is about more than that.  It's about a guy who saw the
ideal that was set by our patriarch.  It's about a guy who realized he
was being baptized as it was happening, and never looked back.

"I remember the first time I came here, playing in
his golf classic," Pierce once said.  "And I sat down and talked to him for about an hour. I
was just thinking, 'Red Auerbach is taking time to sit down and talk to
me, a rookie who's unproven and hasn't done anything in the NBA. I
thought that was something special. I'll remember that for the rest of
my life."

I'd
like to think it was that hour-long talk that carried Pierce through
the dark times.  Even in this age of fans lamenting lost loyalty, I
defy any of you to say you wouldn't have begged out of town in the
post-Pitino tsunami.  He might have quietly, privately, grumbled
about whether his loyalty was going to be rewarded.  But he never took
it beyond that.  I think Red had something to do with that.

“Red always said to me, 'Your name is Paul Pierce, and just remember
who you are. Understanding who you are is saying…You’re great, you have
tons of confidence, and don’t ever forget that.’ And that helped me,
man. Because when things weren’t going right, I thought, You’ve got to
remember who you are. Don’t stray from that. Don’t let these things get
you down.”

Times
are better now, thankfully.  Paul can go out whenever he goes out with
his head held high.  He's done it the right way.  The Celtic way.  The
Red Auerbach way.  It's something no other player will ever be able to
say.

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570560e32970b Matty S.

    GREAT stuff Reds. Thanks for going strong through the summer.

  • Scott

    Great piece.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    Thank you… and everyone… for sticking with us through the summer.

  • http://recognizethegame.com Rosef

    Respect man that was a good read. Legendary player who always slides under the hype radar even on his own team. I will always remmember the summer playoff run when he outlasted LeBron and embarrassed Kobe (both in their prime)

  • thetitleisours

    I remember that incident when a few guys in the office would call him Paul Pierced.
    The best story of all is that Paul Pierce showed a lot of loyalty to this organization and suffered some real tough years. And after many it was finally rewarded with a Championship.
    How it should be

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5ebb21970c JD

    Great article
    I have a feeling Red would have loved Rondo too, based on the fact that Tommy loves him so much. Its too bad he couldn’t have seen him play.

  • Hrvoje

    this site eats my comp
    those flash ads are nasty

  • Lakerhater

    Great post Redsarmy, we need to appreciate what we have with Paul.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    Really? Does it crash you every time?

  • CFH

    Great piece. Nuff said.

  • Sam

    What happens when all of our key guys retire? Where are we then? We need to get some younger players to learn from our key guys. I understand the winning now mentality but we also need to build for the future as well. All we’re going to be left with is Perk and Rondo?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    Excellent post.
    As a KU fan, I was pumped when the C’s drafted him.
    He’s done little to disappoint since then. He’s been underrated, under sponsored and anything else for a long time. He’s conducted himself like a pro the entire time and we’re lucky to have him. We’re lucky to have watched his career.

  • Jon

    some more props for the article. I’ve been saying for awhile that Pierce is my favorite player of all the favorites I’ve ever had in any sport.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157060540b970b Orb

    Great post. I think a big part of all those great Celtics veterans STILL being involved in the team was Red too. Especially Russell, but all those guys rallied around Red, and kept involved with the team. Seeing all those retired numbers at the parade was a last homage to Red. Pierce will be the last of that group.

  • http://mvn.com/thenolookpass Rey-Rey

    I’ve always liked Paul Pierce’s game. He’s not the flashiest guy out there but the guy has been money throughout his career. Great piece.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    Thanks for the kudos everyone

  • WC

    Paul Pierce, the last great wannabe gangster….who would quake in his green shoes if left at the corner of Crenshaw & 10th.
    Lest we forget his futile attempt at being a tough gangster Piru Blood:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGAPpfrf4fk
    Punk.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Youre a moron.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Great artcicle. Gave me chills. Paul Pierce will always be my favorite celtic.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Um we have a 23 and 24 yr old in the starting lineup, and the growth has been tremendous playing and learning from their older peers…we need younger guys to learn from our key guys? lmao thats exactly what we have, how many younger guys do you want, too many and we wont even be in contention…I also hope Baby stays for this reason

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157248043c970b Tom Halzack

    let me add my compliments to a article that, until now, captures something most wouldn’t think until later.
    Well done, Red’s Army.
    T

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011571ff9424970b nbamusings

    I love this site in general, but this is my favorite post ever. Great job!

  • WC

    Some of my favorite “ToTheRuins” quotes:
    “pierce has been awful, plain dreadful in this posteason…AWFUL…slow, making bad decisons, bad passing, turnig it over, couldnt guard turkoglu at all…”
    ————————————–
    “disgusting….sorry guys…but I want to punch a celtics player in the face….they showd up to this game overconfident and played stupid basketball from the tip, and had yet another major let down after a big win…hello, what the fuck? have you FUCKING LEARNED ANYTHING GOD DAMNIT”
    ———————————-
    My personal favorite:
    “Paul pierce is playing like a dipshit…he finally, finally, finally gets it going late in the 3rd/early 4th and gets the celtics to within 7…um doc then takes him out of the game for no specific reason to go to a freezing cold ray allen, and the lead balloons right back up for the magic….huh? speaking of ray allen? what in fucking gods name is mother fucking going on, dipshit…MOTHER FUCKING JJ REDDICK?
    This is a dumb, very very dumb basketball team…who gets overconfident every time they win a game in the playoffs…UHHH DRRRRRRRR…they asrent winning this series…game 4 is a must win, and they forgot how hard it can be to win on the road in the playoffs…no they dug themself as huge hole by losing game 1 and not even showing up tonight…fucking assholes”
    So it seems I’m not as much of a “moron” as you would think. Pretty much agreeing with YOU. Or maybe we’re morons together? AWWWWW……

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Paul Pierce sucked in this postseason, ill be the first to admit it

  • juang@panam.edu

    Great article! I agree, we need to enjoy PP and recognize what he is. He is this generation’s legend. When it is all said and done, PP will take his place among the great Celtics of all time. I saw the original Big Three, and enjoyed the moment in time. I thank Paul for giving us another great moment in Celtic history. He is Paul Pierce, the last great Celtic!
    PS
    When we won the title… for a brief moment in time, PP was the best player.

  • Cs

    At least he did not RAPE anyone
    PUNK!

  • CELTICSFAN

    Paul Pierce is a bitch. Stabbed in is own city. Constantly talking shit on Twitter. Leaving the court with no handshakes after losing to the Magic. Less than 20 wins in a season until Ray and KG saved that team. Even when the Lakers were at their recent low, Kobe still got them to the playoffs. The past is the past. but theres no ignoring it. Pierce is overrated. KG&Ray all day. Paul Pierce does not personify what i want to see in a basketball player. I’d like to him leave my city. Leave like J. Damon.