NBA Finals MVP.
10 Time All-Star.
Paul Pierce, Hall of Famer. Recently, he announced his retirement after the 206-17 season with the Los Angeles Clippers. The 18 year veteran has been nothing short of spectacular in his career and has been one of the more unique players in the modern day NBA. Paul’s career has been with the team that drafted him out of Kansas, the Boston Celtics. He has been one of the few that has made his career with a singular team, as the league has evolved into a who can offer me the most money situation. This is one of the things that he should be commended for, but many forget about. Viewers either love or hate the man, but in my opinion, there should only be love.
Of course, I am biased, because he is one of my favorite NBA players. Why? Small things. We have the same birthday (Oct. 13th). Same number (34). Love the way he plays, always wanting the last shot and not afraid to let others, including his teammates, know when he wants or needs it. But Paul Pierce is not your normal NBA player. HE has been with one team up until the end of his career. He has won a championship. More important;y, he has been nothing short of professional about it all and during his career. One of the most professional men that you will find in the current day NBA, he will make sure that he and his teammates are focused, pros, and winners. Why do you think that Doc Rivers wanted him to be with the Clippers so badly? To show the other young superstars how to be true professionals. How to be a leader on and off the court. And how to be respectful of the other teammates.
People forget that Paul had to deal with the Boston Celtics that were not very good prior to the signing of the Big 3. He stuck with the team, ensuring that he gave his all and withheld his commitment to his team. The Celtics front office rewarded this by signing KG and Ray Allen to supplement and give him what any professional wants, a championship. For that, Paul needs to be respected and honored for what he has accomplished.
I also want to urge all the readers to watch the video that he supplemented with his writing on The Players’ Tribune. The video truly explains the beauty of someone who appreciates where they have been and where they will go. A true professional is one who knows that the journey has an end. And when that end comes, the best thing to do is enjoy the ride and know that you have done great and lived up to what your dreams have always driven you towards. It comforts me to know that there are guys in The Association that still respect their job and take it seriously. Many take those for granted, getting involved with things they should not and making themselves more public than they probably should. “The Truth” has been what every team’s face of the franchise would love to have.
I will say this. In my eyes, he is a HOF inductee. He will be one of the few that have been able to sustain a long career in the NBA with a single team, but also maintain a respect and professionalism that goes farther than showing up and averaging 20 PPG and 8 RPG for their career.
Thanks for the memories, Mr. Pierce.