It was back in January when any hope of the Boston Celtics as contenders was completely dashed — Rajon Rondo had torn his ACL and was done for the rest of the campaign.
That was also the day the first domino fell that eventually led to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett being traded to the Nets and the Celtics started their rebuild.
Don’t take my word for it, that is according to Pierce himself, in an interview with the Boston Herald.
“It was like a domino effect,” Pierce said. “It was like (the Rondo injury) was there and then Doc. When you put all that stuff together, you know the writing was on the wall.”
With an older team like Boston was, you are either contenders or you should be rebuilding, being old and average is not good. The Celtics were not contenders either way, but with Rondo they were more like a dangerous five seed. That wasn’t good enough.
Pierce gets that intellectually, even if in his heart he is still a Celtic.
“It would be hard to contend,” Pierce told the Herald yesterday, the last day of his camp at Basketball City in the shadow of the Garden. “I saw the vision. I saw all that. As a player, I’m selfish. I want what’s going to be good for me and the team. But you’ve got to look at the management looking at what’s down the road. If it’s up to me I would want to rebuild to win a championship by bringing players in. They were looking at the future, down the line.
“Rajon might not be here for the beginning of the year or however long he takes, so it would be tough for us to be a contender or get in a position to contend. Everybody saw that and I think that helped the decision on both sides.”
Pierce has said this is something from all sides — this wasn’t Doc Rivers abandoning the team or other such nonsense. This was a time for the parting of the ways and it was a decision made by mature men; it’s just hard to see that when your emotions get in the way.
I’d love to think this story has run it’s course, but it hasn’t. Especially not with Brooklyn not coming to Boston until well into next season.