Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce plans to skip Nets’ preseason game in Boston


We’re all well aware of how emotional it will be for the fans in Boston and the players alike when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett play their first game against the Celtics as members of the Brooklyn Nets.

They could get it over with fairly quickly, as the Nets are slated to play in Boston as part of their preseason schedule on October 23rd.

But Pierce, speaking at a promotional event in Manhattan on Thursday, said he only wishes to return to Boston once next season.

From Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York:

Pierce wishes his Jan. 26 return to Boston were sooner in the regular season.

“You just want to get it out of the way. When you gotta go through something tough, I’ve always been a guy that just wants to get it out of the way. It’s gonna be in the back of my mind,” Pierce said.

Pierce added that he does not plan to go to Boston for the preseason meeting there against the Celtics.

“I’ll do it just one time next year,” he said.

It will definitely be a much bigger deal during the regular season, with the fans and the organization getting to pay tribute while attending a game that counts.

It’ll also probably be a bit easier emotionally on Pierce this way. By waiting until January to get acclimated to his new surroundings, he’ll have more time come to grips with his new and potentially awkward situation.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.