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Top 5 Paul Pierce quotes from Celtics Media Day

09.28.12 at 8:10 pm ET

Five highlights from Celtics captain Paul Pierce‘s interview at the team’s media day in Waltham:

On Celtics offseason moves: ‘€œOnce I saw that we signed a 35-year-old Jason Terry, I knew that we were headed toward trying to win another championship and not rebuilding. Usually, when you’€™re rebuilding, you’€™re looking for younger guys, but we’€™ve added veterans to mix in with the younger guys, and that just shows that not only [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] but the ownership are committed to excellence and winning a championship here. What more can you ask for? I’€™m very excited, especially at this stage in my career, that we’€™re continuing to try to get that elusive trophy that we haven’€™t got in a few years.’€

On his knee injury (in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Hawks): “I’€™m 100 percent now, but … that really limited me, because there was no treatment that I could’€™ve done at the time that was going to get it better. It limited me as far as a lot of lateral movement and jumping ability — not that I had a lot of jumping ability anyway. … It was definitely a mental grind at that point. I’€™m just happy that’€™s behind me. I think the key for us if we’€™re going to win another championship is going to be our health. You have to be good, and you have to be lucky. Sometimes those are things you can’€™t control. As you saw, since our first year we won it, we haven’€™t been lucky enough to be healthy, so hopefully we’€™re healthy this year and we can make another run at it.’€

On Kevin Garnett’s return: ‘€œI really wasn’€™t confident he was coming back. He said, ‘€˜This is it for me.’€™ People didn’€™t know this, but there were times we’€™d be in the locker room, and I’€™d be like, ‘€˜Kevin, is this your last year?’€™ And he’€™s like, ‘€˜Yeah, this is it.’€™ And I would say, ‘€˜If you’€™re going to retire, then I’€™m going to retire.’€™ But then I started thinking: Kevin’€™s been in the NBA since he was 18. He doesn’€™t know anything else. What’€™s he going to do? He has to come back. When in you’€™ve been in the NBA that long — you’€™re fresh out of high school, and then you’€™re talking about you’€™re going to retire — and you’€™re still playing at a high level, and it’€™s like: What else are you going to do? This is in his blood. This is what he was born to do. For him to be playing at a high level … and with his competitive spirit, I knew he wasn’€™t going anywhere.”

On Ray Allen’s departure: “I was very surprised at Ray’€™s decision. I thought we would finish our careers together — me, Kevin and Ray. It was very surprising — him going to Miami — but Ray’€™s a grown-up. He has to make a decision about what he feels is best for his family and for himself. I wish he could’€™ve went to the Clippers if he was going anywhere, but he went to our Eastern Conference rivals. But as you all know, Ray likes to golf. Maybe that factored into his reasoning. He didn’€™t like the golfing in Boston in the winter. Who knows?”

On his contract situation: “I don’€™t see it as any additional pressure. I’€™m continuing to approach each and every season like I’€™ve approached it from Day 1. Hopefully, I can be around next year and the year after. The goal is to hopefully retire with Kevin. He just recently signed a three-year deal, so I see my career kind of ending along the path of his. But I don’€™t see any pressure. The pressure I’€™m putting on myself is far greater than anybody can put on me. I expect to go out and perform well every year, I expect to go out and play at a high level, and I expect to go out here and be one of the best players in the NBA every year that I step out here.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA, Paul Pierce
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