BOSTON (CBS) – He may wear black, but he’ll always bleed green.
Paul Pierce, alongside Kevin Garnett, made his first return back to Boston as a member of an opposing team in what was a very emotional night at the TD Garden.
Mike Gorman sat down with the former team captain before last night’s game in an exclusive interview with CSNNE and he told Toucher & Rich Monday morning about the experience.
Pierce On Boston Return: ‘Toughest Game I Ever Had To Play’
We’ve seen players return to Boston in other capacities as media members, front office executives and the like, and while that could happen for Pierce down the road, Gorman says not to rule out a second chapter for him as a Celtics player.
“Paul has a great attachment to Boston. He always wanted to retire a Celtic and he had no desire to go anywhere. He wanted to retire a Celtic and still wants to come back, which I think is a possibility. Paul’s contract is up at the end of this year, and the question is does he want to continue to play or not? I asked him directly last night and he really left the door wide open. He said he would come back and work in the front office, assistant coach, he smiled and said he would come back as a player and really smiled and said he would come back as a broadcaster. Paul wants to stay in basketball, and his heart remains in Boston. He knew he was connected to this city, but when he left and came back he really knew how connected he was.”
On whether or not Pierce will get his jersey retired, Gorman unequivocally says yes – but the question of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen becomes more complicated.
“I have a problem putting Garnett and Pierce in the same category. Pierce is special. Pierce spent 15 years of his career here – his entire basketball career here. He came in a boy and left a man – a family man. He had a great relationship with the city, labored through all those terrible years when the team was awful. Paul is special, and his number goes up no matter what. With Kevin, I think there’s a debate. I think the debate leans toward yes, but you can’t lump those two together. I would tend to put Kevin more with Ray.”
Mike Gorman has been around a long time, and his time with the Celtics dates back over thirty years. Gorman has seen players come and go, but Pierce was without question his favorite Celtic of all time.
The play-by-play man shared a story with T&R that illustrates his appreciation for The Truth.
“Paul took his job as the captain of the Celtics very seriously. Very seriously. I’ll never forget one night right after he had been appointed captain he got on the plane with a Barnes & Noble bag, and it looked pretty heavy. That’s not something I’ve seen in my years covering basketball, players carrying around heavy Barnes & Noble bags. Pierce was sitting alone in this compartment by himself and spread out in front of him were a half dozen books on leadership. That was Paul.”
Listen below for the full discussion with Mike Gorman: