No, Paul Pierce shouldn’t come back to Boston next season | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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No, Paul Pierce shouldn’t come back to Boston next season

pierce upset brooklyn

The break-up was for the best.

It really was.

I’m not trying to dismiss the sadness we felt when it happened because that was very real.  I’m not going to pretend that seeing Paul Pierce hold up someone else’s jersey in someone else’s city didn’t sting.

But not feeling right and being wrong are two different things.

It was the right thing to do.

For both of us.

And like seeing an ex on Facebook suddenly switch her status to “single” after a year apart, Pierce’s impending free agency has led many to ask the inevitable, emotional question.

“Should we get back together?”

It’s tempting.  It always is.

But no, Paul Pierce should not come back to the Celtics next season.

paul pierce and trophyDon’t get me wrong, I miss that step back jumper as much as anyone.  I miss the dice-rolling routine during his intros.  I miss Eddie Palladino’s “Paul… Pierce… for… THREEEEEEEE.”

But it’s time to move on.

It’s time for the Celtics to move on from Paul Pierce, the captain emeritus of the Boston Celtics because they’ve got a new captain now.  If the team is truly committed to Rajon Rondo as THE captain of these new Celtics, then it’s unfair to bring back the old one.  Even if it was with Rondo’s blessing, and even if it was with Pierce’s understanding that he would take a reduced, bench role, the familiarity of Pierce-as-captain would be too present in the room.  Pierce is no shrinking violet, and it would be hard for him to wear that Green-and-White without being the leader.

He would be the veteran, after all.  He’d be one of the few in that room with the war stories to tell and with wisdom to impart.  It would be unfair to deprive new players of that if Pierce were there.  So Pierce would naturally have to rise to the role of locker room leader.   And maybe that wouldn’t matter in the end.  Or maybe it would.

You don’t make a former President a Vice President a year later.  Ultimately, everyone just slides back into their comfortable roles of going to the guy who was number 1 for a very long time.  Rondo has spent long enough being groomed for the role.  It’s time for him to take it.

It’s also time for younger players to learn how to be clutch.  It’s time for a new generation to figure out how to be pillars for this franchise and the city it represents.  It’s time for other guys to learn the “Celtic Way” and find a way to stand next to the Birds, Havliceks, Russells, and yes, Pierces, in the annals of Celtics lore.

Mother birds push their chicks out of the nest at some point.  They either learn how to fly, or they become part of the food chain.

Of course, this entire discussion becomes moot if Pierce decides all this on his own and doesn’t even care to consider Boston.  For the first time in his 16 NBA years, Pierce actually gets to do the recruiting tours and hear how much teams want him to play for them.  He’ll be courted.  He’ll get to choose a destination.  And with a year or two left in the tank, it’s hard to believe he’ll choose to go where he’s been.  It’s time for something new.

I’ve long said that a year with Doc Rivers in his home town of Los Angeles will probably be the most appealing option.  He’ll finally get to play in front of his friends and family just miles from his childhood home.  He’ll get to do it with a coach he knows and respects.  And he’ll get to wear “Los Angeles” on his chest without pissing of the Laker-hating fans in his adopted home.  I don’t care what hat he wears, this is his time to live out a childhood dream of playing at home.

I really do believe Pierce will come back some day.  I think he should come back some day and be part of the franchise whose legacy he enhanced.

Some day.

Just not next season.  Not as a player.

It’s time to move on.

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  • idenadesno

    he should really go to the Clippers, Doc is there, he would be valuable as they are not that proficient at the 3, he’s L.A. native, and last but not least it’s not the Lakers

  • Ron Flanders

    if he goes to the Clippers, he might help them win games. with us owning their unprotected 1st, I’m not interested in helping Doc. John makes great points, but if after the draft he’s still available, I think if Paul has some gas left in the tank and wants to return, he’d make a helluva 6th man.

    • LA Flake

      You absolutely positively nailed it. We do own the Clips unprotected 1st. That’s HUUUUGE. But not so if PP signs with them because he’ll help them win games. Imagine PP playing in place of Matt Barnes for the Clippers. Uh uh. Go somewhere else, P! Or come home!

  • romeo0119

    If he’s willing to sign for vet minimum and come off the bench. Bring him back. He belongs to the celtics anyway

  • KGino

    I feel the article, but I’m like a crack fiend, I NEED my PAULY P DAMMIT!!! Bring him back if he’s welcome to it. And do the old PJ Brown move with KG, let him stay in shape until after the all star break, sign him to a vets minimum, and go to war. The ultimate merge of old + new for one last year!!

    • Curt Hays

      KG is still under contract.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Pierce would return in a heartbeat…he`s an emotional guy, Boston is where he`s loved, people want to be where the love is.

    Ainge is 100% pragmatist…0% sentimentalist.
    DA will ask himself one question : How does bringing back PP help with the rebuild?
    Answer : It doesn`t

    • Herman Bubbert

      Don’t agree at all.

      Where’s the leadership in this collection of flotsam? Where’s the connection with the Celtic tradition? Rondo? BWAHAHAHAHAHAH. In the dreams of his knob-slobberers.

      Pierce – on a vet minimum contract – could provide all of that for a year or two. That helps with the rebuild.

      That is, if you understand anything about chemistry.

      • RedsLoveChild

        First you get the young talent, then comes the veteran leadership. Leadership without the talent leads you nowhere.

        Ainge has already acquired a slew of future picks. Now, he needs to begin converting those picks into top young talent. Once the talent is in place, it`ll be time to win. But, we`re not there yet.

        When winning time arrives, then veteran leadership is called for. Guys who are 31-34.

        Pierce will be 37 in a few months. Even if we were ready to win now, PP is too old to contribute on the floor. There will be plenty of others out there who could.

    • forever_green

      I wish you were wrong about Ainge, but your not.

  • ChazzyJoe

    Finally someone with some sense. There’s no role for him on this team anymore. His “locker room presence” isn’t enough for me to have him come back and sit on the bench (AND GET PAID) just to appease the nostalgic among us.

  • frickenWaaaltah

    I’d expect Paul to continue to want to contend until one last season or partial season with Boston. Let’s not guilt trip the guy about it and turn this summer into him ‘leaving a second time.’

    Brooklyn really should try to re-sign him, but as Paul can somewhat choose his own contender this summer as a FA, it’ll be interesting to see what he does. I really wasn’t impressed with JKidd. They could have won game four but the Nets did not look sharp down the stretch and the clock just flew by them while Kidd called Joe Johnson’s number 3 times for 3 bricks.

  • Rich Jensen

    My opinion is that the BoSox hat was a statement regarding the Nets organization in general and Kidd in particular. He’s not going back to Brooklyn. The Nets are not a professional organization, and my belief is that Prokharov has a strong chance of one day making us all look back fondly on that time Don Sterling made a fool of himself.

    And beyond that? Pierce is a Celtic. There are maybe two franchises in the universe that define players, and the Celtics are one of them. The people using emotional terms like ‘breakup’ and ‘ex’? C’mon. Separate life from entertainment.

    In three years, when Paul’s retirement ceremony ends with his number in the rafters and he settles into seat next to DA at games swapping jokes, we’re not even going to remember this conversation.

  • LA Flake

    John Redsarmy,

  • frickenWaaaltah

    I guess the Clippers are the frontrunner, and he is from LA after all. But I wonder if Pierce has maybe begun to move beyond playing for Doc being his preferred choice by far.

    If he is open to playing for other coaches in other cities, it would open up some interesting options for him, like maybe the Spurs or Indy or Chicago. He’ll be a desirable option who contenders and ‘we’re going to be contenders next year’ type teams will have high on their FA board. Instead of just falling in with Doc again, he has a chance to say ‘I also got to play for Greg Poppovich and with Tim Duncan’ or maybe ‘I was on the 2k14-2k15 Pacers team that beat the Heat in the conference finals and won a title.’ I’m not sure what the heck is really the deal with Golden State these days, but maybe they’d be another West Coast possibility for him.

    Looking back though, it really is a shame the Clippers deal got botched, not because of Deandre Jordan etc, but mostly because I feel like the Nets wasted Paul and Kevin’s year and made them look worse than they currently are.

  • Brad

    I’m not sure that Paul Pierce would necessarily cause problems as far as a diversity of captains issue.

    Of the players on the roster, how many played with Paul in Boston?


    THAT’S IT. Sullinger only played half a year with him. Bradley might not be back. Green & Bass are prime trade candidates.

  • Thatguy

    Even though he’s my favorite player ever, he should go chase one final ring. The only contract should come back on is a one-day contract, so he can retire a Celtic.

    But if Pierce does end up back to Boston, I wouldn’t complain.

  • forever_green

    Let the recruiting begin, bring him back.

    I disagree with this post with a passion. I can’t put into words how much I disagree with this post John. The fact that Paul will have a problem with Rondo as captain or with a lesser role is really(as Tommy would say) ridiculous!