Over the past few days there has been a lot of talk around Celtics nation about the possibility of acquiring guys such as Andres Nocioni and Allen Iverson. Although it is good to throw ideas out there, one thing I think that has been ignored through all these talks is the leadership Paul Pierce has displayed. Over the past few days Pierce has said, and done, things that show the true characteristics of a leader.
It all started out following a loss to the Atlanta Hawks last Friday night when Pierce went down with a strained left knee. It was questionable whether or not he would suit up the following night when the Celtics traveled to Indiana to take on the Pacers. Being the competitor he is Pierce told Doc Rivers that he could play despite being in a decent amount of pain. Pierce went on to score fifteen points in the game, which is not a horrible performance, but would you believe he put the loss on his shoulders?
There isn’t a snowballs chance in hell you would ever see Lebron or Kobe coming out after a below average performance and blaming the loss on themselves. Here is what Pierce had to say following Friday night’s game (Compliments of North Station Sports):
“I was a step slow pretty much all night and it really hurt us. I pretty much told the fellas, I really take a lot of the blame. Dahntay Jones goes out and has one of his best nights, with me guarding him most of the night. I am really going to take that one on the chin right there.’’
It really takes a real man, a leader, and captain to come out and put an entire loss on himself. Sometimes you hear players saying, “Well, I didn’t play up to par tonight” or something along those lines, rarely do you see someone man enough to put a loss on themselves.
Following Saturday nights game against Indiana, Pierce was again being listed as questionable for Wednesday nights game against the Warriors. Pierce sat out almost the entire practice Monday in Waltham to give his knee some well deserved rest. Doc and the rest of the staff did not expect him to practice today, but guess what? The Truth is back and ready to go. Pierce decided today that he was ready to participate in a full practice in order to get ready for tomorrows game against the Warriors.
Did anyone seriously think Pierce would miss a game with just a “sore knee”? I know I didn’t, this guy is a true warrior and leader, he will do whatever it takes for the Celtics to win games, and ultimately win championships. I hope that he finishes out his career with Boston and retires as one of the Celtics all time greats.