Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Will Paul Pierce Retire As A Celtic?

One could argue that Paul Pierce is one of the greatest Boston Celtics of all time.  He has the most points scored in team history, a 14 year tenure, and in 2008 led the Celtics to their first championship in 22 years.  As a key figure of the NBA's most storied franchise you would think the Celtics organization would treat Pierce like royalty.  Instead the opposite is about to happen.  Paul Pierce is about to experience the cruel reality of sports economics and the modern day athlete.

Contrary to what his current teammate Kevin Garnett thinks there is no loyalty in sports.  His former teammate Ray Allen understood this and took control of his own destiny signing with Miami before Danny Ainge could ship him to Sacramento or Utah.  Pierce will have no such luxury as he is under contract for $15,000,000 next season at the ripe old 36. No matter what you've contributed to a franchise in the past there's nothing more unattractive to a team than an old superstar with a gigantic contract. 

This scenario is part of the reason Doc Rivers left town.  He didn't want to stick around for the rebuilding project that's about to take place in Boston and he didn't have the conscience to watch Pierce and Garnett get disrespected during his watch.  As a former player and someone that asked those guys to sacrifice for him night after night the thought of telling them they were too expensive and old didn't sit well with him.

As we speak the Celtics are already entertaining trade proposals for the future Hall of Famer.  It is rumored Cleveland is offering 2nd round picks and a conditional 1st round pick.  I don't know Paul Pierce personally, but I seriously doubt Cleveland is where he wants to spend his last days as an NBA player after playing his entire career in Boston.  It won't be his decision however and the way things look it won't be a pleasant situation.  Perhaps the Clippers (Doc Rivers new team) will bring him back home to LA, but more likely than not he will become a salary cap casualty that ends up on a team with no playoff aspirations.  Paul Pierce deserves better.

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