Paul Pierce told reporters today he doesn’t mind that his name was mentioned in seven million trade possibilities this week. He even would have been okay with being traded, so long as the deal helped the Celtics. (Paul Flannery Twitter)
“If it was something that was going to better the Boston Celtics in the long run, I’d have been happy for them.”
“They’ve done a lot for me in my career. There would have never been any hard feelings.”
As John Karalis noted on Red’s Army, the difference between Pierce’s professional, mature take on the matter and Pau Gasol’s sulking in Los Angeles is stark. But we shouldn’t really be surprised. Pierce has grown up. Once startlingly immature at times, Pierce is now a great role model. Once capable of selfish play, he now stresses teamwork. We’ve watched him become a man in Boston, which is why — despite Pierce’s mature take on the matter — I hope he finishes his career in Massachusetts. We know him better than any other star, even Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett. We know who Pierce was and we know who he’s become, and the difference is both huge and something of which Pierce should be quite proud.
It’s easier to be professional about trade rumors after the trade deadline passes and you stay put. I know that, but everything I said in the previous paragraph still stands. Gasol didn’t get traded either, although he kind of did.