“Paul had a chance to leave us when we were bad,” Rivers said. “And instead of moaning that he wanted to go to a championship team, he stayed. And he said, ‘I simply want to be a Celtic and I trust that we’re going to win a title someday.’ He had no reason to believe that at that time. I mean, we were pretty awful.
“To me, I wish people talked about his loyalty more because I think that’s special, especially in this day and time when everybody’s jumping from team to team. And that’s their right too; I don’t begrudge that with anybody. But I do think it’s special that Paul Pierce decided that he wanted to be a Celtic for his life. And I think that’s pretty cool. In this day and time, in any sport, I think that’s special.”
Pierce watched the team endure a franchise-worst 18-game losing streak during the 2006-07 campaign, just months before the Big Three was united the following offseason and set into motion the team capturing its 17th world title. But he said he always had faith he could help restore the glory days in Boston.
The media is heaping a lot of respect and admiration on Paul Pierce for sticking with the Celtics during the lean years. But the trades for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett came at the nick of time (Check out this story from Adrian Wojnarowski in June of 2007).
Pierce was getting itchy. He was extremely frustrated with the losing. He had spent 9 years in Boston and sniffed mild playoff sucess only once (2002 ECF vs Nets). Had Pierce gone public with his trade demand, I wouldn’t have faulted him.
I’m thankful Danny Ainge was able to pull off those moves. I’m thankful Shawn Marion and Jermaine O’Neal refused to play in Boston. I’m thankful Paul had some patience.
Related links: ESPN Boston – Pietrus celebrates Pierce milestone | CSNNE – Pierce had faith | Pierce’s teammates react to milestone night | KG remembers Pierce as high school pal | Herald – Pierce thankful to fans, worthy of passing Green loyalty | Pierce leaps past legend | Pierce part of rare breed | WEEI – Pierce reaches a milestone | Globe – Allen can appreciate historic achievement
On Page 2, the Steamer is guaranted a paycheck.
He is a member of the Celtics, a contending NBA team, and now he has a guaranteed contract for this season.
The deadline to waive players with nonguaranteed contracts came and went yesterday, and no news was good news for Stiemsma, who never was officially notified by the team that he was staying.
Twice waived by NBA teams, Stiemsma’s road to Boston was an unlikely one, and the center is grateful to be sticking around.
“It’s a satisfying feeling,’’ he said. “Any little stuff like that can give you a boost for the season. I don’t get caught up in the business side too much, but I do enjoy the positives. I wasn’t anticipating too much to happen, but you never know.’’
I’m happy for the Steamer. He’s faded into the background since bursting on the scene with a 6 block performance in late December.
Remember those crazy people who wanted him to be the starting center?
The rest of the links: