BOSTON (CBS) — Paul Pierce showed he’s still The Truth this postseason, hitting a handful of big baskets for the Washington Wizards before they were sent home by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs on Friday night.
Now that the ride is over this season, Pierce is considering stepping away from the game and retiring after 17 successful years in the NBA. But if Pierce does decide to play another season or two, as he hinted he would do before the playoffs, his former Celtics teammates would love to see him back in green.
“I would love it if he came back here. To me, Paul is always going to be a Boston Celtic,” Celtics guard Avery Bradley told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Monday morning. “The things he was able to accomplish over his time here, they were just amazing. I’m sure all the Boston fans would love that as well.”
The Celtics traded Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets back on draft night in 2013, officially beginning the franchise’s rebuild. That summer, they hired Brad Stevens to be their new head coach, replacing the departed Doc Rivers, giving the franchise a new face and a new direction.
But Bradley doesn’t think Pierce (who has a player option with Washington) would have any problems fitting in to Stevens’ system and the culture that is now in place in Boston, because it’s a culture he helped build for 15 years.
“Paul is Boston Celtics’ culture,” said Bradley. “One thing that Brad Stevens is able to do, that same culture we had when Doc was here, it’s [still here]; you go out and leave it all out on the floor for your teammates. If he came back it would be the same, and that’s the kind of player Paul is anyways. He plays hard every game.”
Bradley admits that he doesn’t like to watch the NBA once the Celtics’ season is over (though he’s been watching games this postseason with his mother in-law), but he’s enjoyed seeing Pierce do his thing during Washington’s run to the second round. And it wasn’t just all those clutch shots that Pierce hit against the Raptors and Hawks, but his trash talk as well.
“That’s the Paul everybody knows. One thing I can say about Paul is he steps up for the big moments, and I love watching him play,” said Bradley. “Even to see someone talk trash and go out and back it up, that makes it more special and amazing. I really enjoy watching Paul play.”
Bradley said there is no teaching that kind of mentality.
“It has to be in you. You have to want to be in those moments and make the big plays,” he said. “That’s all you can really tell someone. I love those moments, and feel like anyone who plays this game at this level, they should want to be in moments like that.”
As for his offseason, Bradley will be hosting two youth basketball camps in Dartmouth later this summer. The sessions will run from July 7-9 and 14-16, and you can log on to the Burgo Basketball Association’s website for more information and to register.