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Paul Pierce Unfiltered Postgame After Passing Larry Bird

 

It was an emotional night for the C’s captain as he further cemented his place in Celtic history after passing Larry Bird on the all-time leaderboard for second most points in franchise history. Here’s Pierce’s full comments on his achievement, along with reaction from his coach and his teammates:

On Passing Larry Bird: “It was a relief. So much was hanging over me the last couple of days just hearing about it. Knowing that you got a game to play and so many people talked about it and talked about it. I mean that for me, its a great feat knowing that you are going to be up there with all the great Celtics, ya know Larry Bird is probably onoe of the most important players that ever played in this franchise. Just to be up there and have your name up there with them is a great honor.”

On His Video Tribute: “I actually saw little glimpses of it, Doc was talking in the time out, ya know you just try to focus in on the game and you just soak it in, soak it all in after the game. I’ll probably soak it in a little bit more once I go home and sit down and realize what’s really going on. Right now its just, its so fresh in my head right now that the game is over.”

On his standing ovation: “We have great fans. They’ve seen it all from my younger days, from my trials and tribulations, to this point today and its just a great honor just for them to be able to stand up and give me that type of ovation. Being a Celtic for all these years and understanding what it means to be a Celtic and the ups and downs you go through and just to come to this point in your career it really means so much just the support that they have given me over the years.”

Why did he stay loyal to Boston? “Just having confidence in the ownership and Danny. Just knowing how great this franchise can be, knowing the  history, knowing that once this franchise gets back to where it needs to be and if I’m a part of it there’s no other franchise like this in all of basketball. You knew eventually it would turn around. I’ve just always been the optimist just knowing eventually ‘the next year, the next year’ that’s what I always kept saying to myself that it would eventually turn around and it took one summer for us to turn this thing around and I’m just thankful that just my patience was able to pay off.”

On passing Bird, while growing up a Lakers fan: “Well growing up in Englewood I would of said I wouldn’t of been a Celtic, I’m not gonna be a Celtic if somebody was to say it at the time. That’s incredible. In my mind one of the top 5 players that ever played the game. I’m not gonna sit here and say that I’m anywhere near his accomplishments, but just to be mentioned with him with this organization is a great honor.”

Was he forcing it at all in the first half? “I’m not gonna lie, it was just hanging over my head too much, I mean how could it not. With every deep breath that the crowd was taking, every shot that went up you kind of just felt that it was hard to really ignore it and really focus on the game and then coach said ‘hurry up get it out the way.’ It was a relief once I hit the one three so I could just really focus and concentrate on the game.”

Where does this rank for him in career achievements? “Its really hard to think about it right now. I haven’t had a chance to really sit back and think about my career and all the accomplishments I’ve had. It has to be right up there. There’s nothing better than winning a championship, but I’m going to sit back and let it sink all in and put a ranking on it.”

Doc Rivers

On Pierce’s achievement: “It’s just awesome.  I mean, I told the guys you’ve got to have several things: One, is longevity.  The second thing is health.  And then I said the third – and the fourth – the third thing is you’ve got to be old as hell, because you’ve got to stick around a long time.  And then the fourth thing: you’ve got to ball.  You’ve got to play some amazing basketball.  Here.  To do what he did.  You know, passing Larry Bird – that’s impressive.”

On Pierce’s career: “You know, 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.  And 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.  And to me, I wish people talked about his loyalty more, because I think that’s special, especially in this day and time, when everybody’s jumping from team to team.  And that’s their right, too, I don’t begrudge that with anybody, but I do think it’s special that Paul Pierce decided that he wanted to be a Celtic for his life.  And I think that’s pretty cool.  In this day and time, in any sport, I think that’s special.”

Was Paul nervous? “I don’t think Paul’s nervous, ever.  I just – he may have been but I just think he just – you know, pressing may be a different word; I don’t even know that.  I think our guys were pressing more than Paul.  I mean, Paul kept telling them, ‘Just play.’  And they were passing up shots, so it was no fun for me early on because we’ve got to win the game.”

Kevin Garnett on Pierce’s career

“Paul’s from a rough neighborhood, from brothers and a loving mother and family, so he always had a sense of character and depth to him. When it came to basketball, he was always in the backyard working. I remember he was always talking about David Robinson. Couldn’t understand that one, but you know, it wasn’t for me to understand. But you saw the drive, you saw what motivated him, you saw what pushed him. Being in LA, other players were considered better than him, and that drove him from day one. We’ve just had a lot of similarities, a lot of things pushing us, a lot of things driving us as young guys. We just so happen to be best friends and have a lot in common. So congratulations to The Truth.”"

  • Steve

    *Inglewood

    • janos

      sorry give minus 1 you, but nobody care on spelling ever word right but girl

      • Jason

        Are you raiderjoe?

    • LACelticsFan

      I am from California, Los Angeles matter of fact and if one spells it Englewood, that is in NJ I believe, so spelling it correctly Inglewood is important. Plus one.

  • janos

    Hi Bryan, is Janos
    Tomorrow night Lakers in town vs CELTICS.

  • ripsonics

    congrats Pierce..

    Hate to bring this up again.. Never should have traded Perk
    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7553982/kendric

    • CelticsBIG3

      Know whats even lamer about LeBron? He took the tweet down…. A$$hole

      • CelticsBIG3

        But yet still says he won't apologize for it. Like Perk wants his apology anyway.

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