Since Rajon Rondo went down with an ACL injury, I had not been alone in calling for the Celtics to start making big changes — it’s time to transition to the next phase of the Celtics.
But saying that and actually doing something like trading Paul Pierce is something else entirely.
He is a 14-year Celtic, a champion and finals MVP, a 10-time All-Star wearing the green. He is the most iconic Celtic player since the Bird era ended. He is beloved. Trading him is hard just for the sentimental reasons.
And he doesn’t want to go, he told the Boston Herald (via Celticsblog).
“You know, I want to retire as a Celtic,” said Pierce. “That’s been my longtime goal. But it’s not in my control. The organization, they make their decisions, but it’s something I desire.”
GM Danny Ainge has talked more than once about wanting to break up this Celtics era earlier rather than later. But can he really just trade Paul Pierce?
Pierce has one season on his contract, one that can be bought out for $5 million. He’s still a valuable scorer who can create his own shot and will step into more of a point-forward role with Rondo out.
He has a lot of trade value. But can the Celtics really pull that trigger?
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.
This was not Marc Gasol‘s first attempt to head in the ball after a whistle, but this time, he converted.
Here was his January try:
As Rockets general manager Daryl Morey once noted, cherry-picking James Harden‘s worst defensive plays to create a video is unfair. Many players would look awful by that measure.
But Harden provides serious ammo for these worst-of videos.
This non-attempt to stop Lance Thomas is just brutal.
At least Houston buckled down to beat the Knicks, 116-111 in overtime. The Rockets have climbed to 26th in points allowed per possession.
So, Kobe Bryant‘s NBA career is officially going to come to an end after the 2015-16 season. That part he announced on Sunday.
What’s still up in the air is Bryant’s participation in one last Olympics. Bryant has been in consideration to make Team USA this summer at the games in Rio de Janeiro, and USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo tells ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that he hasn’t ruled that out yet:
Kobe was asked about this at his post-game press conference Sunday and said it was not a goal, but if it was offered he’d consider it.
“I’d be honored if that was there, it would be fantastic to be around that group and spend kind of the last journey with them,” Bryant said. “That being said, it’s not something that I’m obsessing over.”
‘When Bryant made it known that he wanted to play in Rio, he made it clear to Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski that he wanted to earn a spot, not be given one as a lifetime achievement award. Watching him so far this season, it’s almost impossible to imagine him making the roster on merit.
But nobody should begrudge him if he wanted to extend the farewell tour just a little bit longer.