BOSTON (CBS) — In an era where LeBron James has television specials to announce his next team and where trade rumors often garner more attention than actual games, Paul Pierce stands out.
He stands out, of course, for his play on the court, which has earned him nine All-Star nods, a championship and a Finals MVP. But he stands out even more for his loyalty, as he’s been a member of the Boston Celtics since Day 1 of his NBA career.
He was rewarded for that faith in the organization on Tuesday night, when he passed Larry Bird on the Celtics’ all-time scoring list. The recognition, according to coach Doc Rivers, was a long time coming.
“Here’s the part I wish people wrote more about Paul. Paul had a chance to leave us when we were bad, and instead of moaning that he wanted to go to a championship team, he stayed,” River said after the Celtics’ victory on Tuesday. “He said, ‘I simply want to be a Celtic and I trust that we’re going to win a title some day.’ He had no reason to believe that at that time. I mean, we were pretty awful.
Doc Praises Pierce’s Loyalty
“To me, I wish people talked about his loyalty more, because I think that that’s special, especially in this day and time, when everybody’s jumping from team to team.”
Pierce has played 985 games for the Celtics, scoring 21,797 points along the way.
“I do think,” Rivers added, “it’s special that Paul Pierce decided he wanted to be a Celtic for his life. And I think that’s pretty cool.”