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Paul Pierce cared about the little people

Chuck - Red's Army January 27, 2014 Celtics News, Paul Pierce 12 Comments

Truth

By now, you’ve read countless stories on the return of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. But  I’m here to encourage you to read one more. In a column written by the great Adrian Wojnarowski, we learn about Pierce’s endless generosity:

As he walked into the locker room, Pierce discovered a familiar face ashen and shaken, slumping on a stool in a stunned silence.

Pierce walked over and asked Jamie Young: “What’s wrong, man?”

For seven years Young had worked for the Celtics as a video coordinator until he was promoted to the endless road life of an advance scout. And now in this moment of organizational euphoria, he tried to make sense of the telephone call that had come hours earlier: Without warning, his 56-year-old father died of a heart attack in the small Indiana town where he had raised Young.

“I’m going to pay for his funeral,” Pierce told Young. “I’m going to pay for everything.”

And Pierce did, the way he quietly had always been so generous with staff members who worked the longest hours and made the most modest of salaries. So here was Young, an assistant coach on Brad Stevens’ staff, standing and cheering Pierce in the middle of the Garden on Sunday night. This was a night when everyone came to deliver Pierce and Garnett the gratitude for hanging that championship banner in 2008, for making the Celtics matter again, making the Celtics the Celtics again.

Within the organization, Pierce’s generosity was legendary. He fought for the lowest of assistants and basketball staff to get playoff bonuses, and he used to give the team’s traveling party $1,000 each to spend on the annual trip to the Nike employee store outside of Portland. Inside and outside the organization, Pierce was generous with commitments of time and resources, relentlessly championing children’s causes and charities.

Great stuff. It’s refreshing to hear positive stories about former players. When the last legend left town, we heard nothing but tales of selfish, phony, and whiny behavior. The Truth is a class act, on and off camera.

And… Mike Gorman shared this story during a morning interview on Toucher and Rich:

“Paul took his job as the captain of the Celtics very seriously. Very seriously. I’ll never forget one night right after he had been appointed captain he got on the plane with a Barnes & Noble bag, and it looked pretty heavy. That’s not something I’ve seen in my years covering basketball, players carrying around heavy Barnes & Noble bags. Pierce was sitting alone in this compartment by himself and spread out in front of him were a half dozen books on leadership. That was Paul.”

Master of the step back jumper and avid reader.

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  • Curt Hays

    I think this has compelled me to buy a Paul Pierce Celtics jersey.

    Brooklyn will never get what you guys in Boston got from Paul.

    • bill_nair

      Bought myself a Pierce jersey last month. Had to do it before the thing became an expensive vintage/throwback jersey.

    • KGino

      lol look at you guys. I have his Inglewood jersey, a yellow terry cloth celtics jersey (rare), classic white home jersey and new school black road uni… Can’t get enough.

      • bill_nair

        Im jealous!

        Nothing beats the #12 Ricky Davis jersey tho :D haha

  • Dustin Chapman

    Can never have enough Pierce jerseys

  • Lee in Oregon

    Obviously the B & N bag did not contain “little Ricky’s” book.

    Paul Pierce embraces everything the Celtics have stood for over the past 50+ years. Props to the C’s for a great night and always being a place where players feel at home. I hope Tony Batman and his brother were there too, without those guys there would be one less banner in the rafters.

  • Thatguy

    Thank you for being such an amazing basketball player and human, Paul. Always an inspiration and kind guy.

  • Kahnstantine

    Thank You Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett.

    Celtics Forever.

  • dk

    great article indeed. just curious maybe I’m still a little sleepy from the weekend but who were you referring to as the “legend” in this line:

    “When the last legend left town, we heard nothing but tales of selfish, phony, and whiny behavior.”

    • Rich Jensen

      I’m guessing Doc (selfish–not interested in the rebuild, phony–committed to rebuild when he signed contract, and whiny by implying that Danny Ainge forced him out the door), but you could make a case for Ray (selfish–taking $3M and a better shot at a title, rather than $6M+no-trade clause with KG, PP, Rondo, phony–talked a good game, but was apparently difficult to deal with as a teammate, also allegedly a leaker of petty locker room disputes, and whiny–complaining about how poorly he was treated by KG, PP, et al.)

  • KWAPT

    So glad I had these made. Considering getting his likeness tattoo’ed on my back as well..

  • GreenBleeder

    I do think Paul Pierce will return to the Celtics, but to play for them again just so he can have his number retired. That is the least they can do for him for what he did for this town. I also think KG should get his number retired for the same reason. Now Ray Allen is a different story I still on the fence with him, but I leaning towards no, because of how he left the team. Ray Allen A.K.A Drama Queen….