Paul Pierce wonders if Miami's big three can make the sacrifices Boston's stars did


Thumbnail image for Pierce_celebrates.jpgIn the summer of 2007, the Boston Celtics put together three superstars to form a championship team, not completely different than Miami did this summer.

However Boston’s stars were older and could see the end of their careers, they were past their physical primes but still were (and are) high caliber players. They were guys at a point where they were willing to give up points and personal glory for the wins.

In an interview with Comcast New England (via Celtics Blog), Pierce wonders if Miami’s trio is willing to do that.

“You know it could come together right away for them, like it did when we brought our whole new team together, but it’s all about the sacrifice, it’s all about dropping the egos, and it’s all about communication.

It’s going to be hard, you know why? I like to call this barbershop talk, because you go to a barbershop and all you talk about is basketball and sports and people are always saying, ‘What if Kevin, Ray, and Paul had gotten together when they were younger? They’d probably have four or five championships. But then you don’t take into (account) the fact that we were all in our primes, still trying to establish ourselves at the same time, which is what you’re seeing with Miami now. All of these guys are in their prime. Now, how much of your prime are you going to sacrifice? LeBron right now is an MVP-caliber player. Wade is also, too. And also Chris Bosh. Now, can these guys say for the rest of their careers it’s not about winning the MVP? It’s about sacrificing the individual numbers for a greater good, and that’s winning a championship. I think the great players make the adjustment. If it doesn’t work out (the first year), I think as time goes, they’ll figure it out.”

The Heat players have made sacrifices already — each took less money to play together. But that is just the first of a lot of sacrifices they will learn they have to make. How fast they learn will determine when the titles come.

Players’ union, NBA to set up cardiac screening for retired players

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First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.

Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.

The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.

Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”

“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”

The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.

It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.

I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.


Stephen Curry drops 30 on Portland in preseason (VIDEO)

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Somebody is in midseason form.

Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.

Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.