If yesterday was nostalgia Christmas, today is nostalgia Boxing Day — nobody is quite ready to let it go yet, but the main event is over and at some point soon, we will all have to go back to our normal lives.
Not quite yet though. Toucher & Rich of 98.5’s The Sports Hub in Boston caught up with Celtics play-by-play man and on-air Tommy Heinsohn handler Mike Gorman yesterday before the game. Gorman passed out a few nuggets that may have gotten a little lost in all the goings-on but probably shouldn’t be.
First, Gorman tackled the topic of Pierce returning someday in some capacity to the Celtics:
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.”
In any of these capacities, Pierce would likely excel and he would certainly have the undying support of Boston’s fans. It’s interesting that Pierce believes he can work in the front office, since it was the front office who traded him away in exchange for the future. There hasn’t been any acrimony toward the Celtics coming out of Pierce’s camp (the only negative comments we heard from Pierce were about the difficulties in moving to a new city), and if Pierce really understands the tough decision the front office was forced to make in trading away a huge piece of franchise history for the betterment of their future, he certainly might be cut out for front office work.
And, naturally, if Pierce wanted to become Tommy Heinsohn’s successor in the broadcast booth, all the better.
Gorman also told T&R an anecdote about Pierce the leader which deserves a note as well:
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.
Something in those books must have really spoken to Pierce — he was introduced as “The Captain…and the Truth!” for so many years before his exit that it was jarring when Rajon Rondo was introduced as the captain this season. While Garnett was the noisier face of the franchise at times, Pierce was the leader.
Last night drove home how much Boston appreciated Pierce. Stories like this one (as well as Adrian Wojnarowski’s powerhouse column last night) drive home much Pierce appreciated Boston. It was a beautiful symbiotic relationship, and it’s extremely encouraging to hear that, at some point, Pierce may come back and keep the relationship alive.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.