“He had some great years in Boston — a few when the team was down, and maybe that hurt him a little bit,” Bird said. “But he’s a great scorer, and he won a championship, so he’s right there with the rest of us, as far as I’m concerned.”
Asked to find a unique side to Pierce’s game, Bird pointed to the Celtics captain’s free throw prowess. Pierce remains the franchise leader in made free throws (5,909) as well as attempts (7,334).
“He knows when to get to the line,” Bird said. “When the team is in the penalty, he could really take advantage of those situations. But he’s a complete player. There’s so much he’s able to do.”
There it is… the declaration by Larry Bird himself. "He's right there with the rest of us."
When the best of the best show up at the "Greatest Celtics Ever" potluck dinner, and Paul Pierce rings the door bell, Larry Bird is letting him in.
We can argue about certain things… but it doesn't really matter in the end. Paul Pierce is in that mix. Paul Pierce is in a seat next to Havlicek and Cousy and Russell.
Tonight he should pass Larry Bird on the Celtics scoring list. It is a much deserved honor for Paul, who should be revered for what he is… one of the best Boston Celtics of all time.
Related links: ESPN Boston: Approaching (Larry) Legend status | WEEI: Where does Paul Pierce rank among the all-time greats? | MWDN: Pierce on precipice of lofty perch
On Page 2: It's always been basketball first with Pierce
…“There are players … who are entertainers first and basketball players second sometimes, and that’s never, ever been the case with Paul.”
Basketball is always the priority, Pierce said. “Without my skill level, I wouldn’t have these other things. That was always important to me – to just always go to the gym. It’s something that was installed in me since I was a kid. My best friend in high school’s dad was the principal and he had the key to the gym, so … to stay out of trouble, we always went to the gym. … Basketball has always been my sanctuary. … Even in our days off today, I still go in after 14 years and 2,563,273 jumpers made.”
When it comes to endorsements, Pierce said that he strives to remain true to himself.
“I’ve always been a person who didn’t want to sell his soul just for a dollar. … So a lot of the things that I’ve always been involved with really represented me to the fullest,” he said. “At the end of the day, … the way you market yourself is the way people are going to look at you.”
Paul Pierce is a career Celtic. The pursuit of an acting career or endorsing a million things never really became a priority for him.
I'm sure there are people in Orlando who which others felt the same.
Definitely check out this link. Pierce and his agent talked about a lot of things at Harvard the other day. Worth checking out a tiny glimpse of life off the court for Pierce.
The rest of the links