Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Paul Pierce said it’s been difficult to say goodbye to Boston after 15 years, and as he approaches his first Nets’ training camp — along with Kevin Garnett — the past few months have allowed him to reflect.
Pierce said he wants to be a fixture in Boston following his playing days, not just showing up for his retirement ceremony and heading to Malibu, Calif., the next morning. Pierce said he wants to establish something substantial in Boston, having grown attached to the city despite growing up in Inglewood, Calif., as a Lakers fan.
“Ultimately, what I would like to do is have a business in Boston,” he said. “Maybe like a sports bar. I would love to do something like that here. None of the former Celtic great players have come and done that. I thought about it, and why hasn’t anyone come and opened up a nice restaurant? You see the Don Shula restaurant, the Michael Jordanrestaurant, and Magic [Johnson] got the theaters in LA. Why nobody here? All this history, all these championships and love, why has nobody done that?
“I am going to still have relationships here. I’m always going to come to this city. Every year, when I’m done, I’m going to have a reason to come here.”
Pierce said he holds no grudges toward the Celtics, and again pointed to a future relationship with the organization.
“Who knows? I may be working for Wyc Grousbeck or Danny Ainge,” he said. “A lot of players don’t understand it. I’ve always understood it. And [other players] let their pride and ego get in the way. I’ve made a lot of money here, I’ve built relationships, won a championship here, I thank y’all for everything y’all gave me. How can I be mad for everything they’ve given me. I’m thankful.”
The prospect of reaching the championship pinnacle again with the Nets is intriguing.
“Me and my best friend growing up were talking and he said, ‘Man, what if you win a championship in Brooklyn? Then what?’ ” Pierce said. “It’s another level then. There’s a chance I could move up in the [all-time] ranks if I get another championship. So I am still going. And they’ve given me more tools and I’ve got something to build.”
Pierce said the Celtics should have no trouble attracting major free agents. “The city of Boston has changed so much since I’ve been here,” he said. “There are so many more things to do and the city has grown. I think it would be a great place to play.
“I enjoyed it here. Hopefully, the fact that guys like me and Kevin liked it here is a sign to other players that it’s a good city to play in. I’m excited about playing in Brooklyn, though. There weren’t too many places I wanted to go if I had to leave Boston, but Brooklyn is one of them.”
When the trade first went down earlier this summer, Paul Pierce hinted that he’d ultimately like to return to the Celtics one day in some capacity. For the first time however, he gives some details to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Pierce apparently wants to open a “Don Shula” type restaurant or perhaps a chain of sports bars around the area. He also mentions that he might work again someday for Wyc Grousbeck and Danny Ainge, albeit this time in a front office type job. I can see Pierce doing both and being welcomed back with wide-open arms by the Boston fans and community. Other than being an all-time Celtic great on the court, Pierce has been one of the best all-time greats off the court as well with his countless efforts in the community as well as various charities.
He’s also established and maintained his “Truth on Health” campaign and still has his roots deep in the city now. How good would he be working in the front office? I have no idea but it would be great to see the C’s give him a shot. Because if any part of the above quote from Washburn’s piece rings the loudest, it’s the very last part. When Pierce discusses the future of the C’s and their ability to land big name free agents, he’s dead on with his statement about he and KG loved playing here. I cannot stress just how important that was/is for this team. It’s a huge turnaround compared to the troubles they had in the post Bird/McHale/Parish era, for nearly 20 years. Like it or not, there was (and to a degree still is) a stigma about Boston and Pierce was huge in erasing that.
Hopefully he (and KG, Ray, Doc, etc.) showed that Boston is one of THE premiere places to play when it comes to acquiring big time players. Pierce did a ton for the team and city and it would only be right for him to return here for good whenever he is done playing (or perhaps to play for one last year?!?!?).
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Countdown to camp: Who rebounds?