|Pierce says ‘work cut out’ for Celtics||07.15.10 at 4:16 pm ET|
Paul Pierce is thrilled to stay a Celtic, but thinks there is still some work to do to fill out the defending Eastern Conference champs.
In a media conference call Thursday, Pierce said he will likely retire in the Green he’s worn his whole career, but had to take less money to do so.
“We got a lot [to do] right now,” Pierce said during the conference call. “We lost [Tony Allen], we don’t have Nate [Robinson], we might not have Rasheed [Wallace]. We’ve got to add a bench. We’ve got our work cut out. We need perimeter defense and we need to add a backup point guard to help out [Rajon] Rondo, if Nate doesn’t come back. And we need another big.”
But Pierce was happy with the acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal.
“I thought it was a great move picking up Jermaine [O’Neal], giving us an inside presence in case Rasheed retires, but sometimes I’m looking at all the players signing and wish we would get on the ball a little bit. I trust in Danny to put a good team around us, but I’m sitting here watching all these good players fall to other teams.”
As far as the changes to the lastest Eastern Conference favorites, the Heat, Pierce had positive things to say about LeBron James‘ televised “Decision,” and the power threesome leading the team on South Beach.
‘It’s a new day and time, man,’ Pierce said when asked if James took his revelation too far. ‘Everything has become a production. You see people living in their homes on reality TV, man. It’s a new day and time.”
On James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Pierce said, ‘The beginning of a new era … I think you’ll see more of this. Superstars are going to get together now to form teams. You’re hearing now about Chris Paul and [Carmelo Anthony] getting together to join Amar’e (Stoudemire) in New York next year. I think this is the way things are going to happen now.’
|C’s make Pierce signing official||at 12:29 pm ET|
“Paul has been a cornerstone of our franchise for the last decade and we could not be more pleased that he is returning to the team,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a statement.
Pierce is the third-leading scorer in franchise history with 19,899 points, trailing only Larry Bird and John Havlicek. He averaged 18.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season and made his eighth All-Star team.
“I am very excited to be back in Boston,” Pierce said in the team’s statement. “I have always said that I would love to retire as a Celtic, and re-signing here will allow me to do that. I would like to thank Danny, Doc [Rivers], the ownership group and the rest of the organization. I’m thrilled that they kept the core intact and look forward to getting back on the parquet with my teammates so we can bring Banner 18 home to Boston.
|Allen: ‘There’s no other place I wanted to be’||07.07.10 at 11:21 pm ET|
“I’m happy to be returning as a Celtic,” he told WEEI.com via text message. “There’s no other place I wanted to be.”
According to a source familiar with the negotiations, WEEI.com confirmed the deal is worth $10 million annually. The second year is a player option.
Allen, who turns 35 this month, made it clear following the NBA finals that he would like to return to Boston — ‘I’ll deal with that when the time comes, but it’s obvious that I don’t want to be anywhere else,’ he said after Game 7. He garnered attention from around the league, however, once he hit the free agent market. According to one report, LeBron James contacted Allen about joining him, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade on a “Dream Team.”
Allen averaged just over 16 points during last season and the playoffs. He set an NBA finals record by hitting eight 3-pointers against the Lakers. Allen will be entering his 15th season in the league and doesn’t expect to slow down any time soon.
‘I believe I’m so far ahead of the game that I’m able to play longer,” he told WEEI.com during the regular season. “People look at basic standards of guys my age at 34, like some guys at 34, there’s no way they could play basketball right now. And I’m thinking at my age now, I can go even a few more years doing what I’m doing the way I’m doing it because for me, it’s not rocket science.”
|Source: Allen agrees to return to Boston||at 9:54 pm ET|
WEEI.com has confirmed Ray Allen will return to the Celtics after agreeing to a two-year deal worth $10 million annually, with a player option for the second year. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein first reported the deal on Twitter.
Allen, who turns 35 this month, averaged just over 16 points last season and in the playoffs. He garnered attention from around the league when he hit the free agent market this summer, and was reportedly contacted by LeBron James about playing for a “Dream Team” with him, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
Allen had attested during the NBA finals, however, that he would like to return to the Celtics. His agreement keeps the Big Three intact for another shot at a title after Paul Pierce agreed to a new four-year deal last week.
|What Pierce’s new deal means for the Celtics||07.02.10 at 9:59 am ET|
Multiple outlets are reporting that the Celtics have reached an agreement with Paul Pierce on a new contract that will likely keep him in Boston for the duration of his career. A source told Jeff Goodman of WEEI.com/FoxSports.com that the total package would be worth $61 million over four years, with all four years guaranteed.
Pierce left $21.5 million on the table for next season by terminating the final year of his contract and the new deal gives him certainty in what promises to be an uncertain NBA. The collective bargaining agreement is set to expire after the 2010-11 season, and the expectation is that the owners will try to rein in player’s salaries.
Pierce’s new deal will take the Celtics over the salary cap, but it may provide some luxury-tax relief in the long run, which is no small consideration.
There are risks for the Celtics. Pierce will be 36 years old in the final year of the deal, which can’t be finalized or officially announced until next week. It will also take him well beyond Kevin Garnett’s contract, which has two seasons remaining.
But four years is the cost of keeping the team together for another run at a championship and that has been Danny Ainge’s plan all along. Doc Rivers elected to return for the final season of his coaching contract earlier in the week, but the work is only half done. Read the rest of this entry »
|Report: Doc’s first call to Allen||07.01.10 at 11:53 pm ET|
“I can’t go into who but I can tell you we started at 12:01 last night like everybody else did,” he said. “The first call we called Ray. We sat around and we have these names on the list and we said hey guys our most important guy is Ray. We gotta get Ray back. Paul and Ray. And we already talked to Paul because we could. Ray is a vital part to our basketball team, huge.”
Allen, an unrestricted free agent, will undoubtedly be receiving several phone calls from around the league. According to a recent report in the Miami Herald, LeBron James contacted Allen about playing alongside he, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Allen stated during the season he would like to return to Boston.
|Barry on D&H: Pierce and Allen have ‘mileage’||at 12:27 pm ET|
ESPN NBA analyst Jon Barry joined the Dale & Holley show Thursday on the first day of the free-agency period in the NBA and discussed the Celtics‘ two biggest free agents, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. He said that both players have some ‘mileage’ on them and that although Boston wants to bring the pair back, it should be cautious before jumping right in and signing each.
‘I know Boston’s a great organization, and I know they want these two guys back,’ Barry said. ‘They’d love to make a run with the same team and see if they can do it again. But you have to use your head and decide whether these guys can get you back to that level.’
Barry also dished on who he thinks has the best shot at LeBron James‘he says it’s the Bulls’and just how bad it would be for Cleveland if it lost its King.
‘They’ll win no more than 28, maybe 30,’ he said. ‘They’ll be devastated. This guy means absolutely everything to this team. It’d be horrendous. Cleveland’s gone through so many hardships throughout the years with all their teams, but nothing can get worse than this. This would absolutely ruin this franchise.’
Some highlights from that interview are below. To hear the interview in its entirety, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Does Doc Rivers coming back help the Celtics have a chance at getting back to where they were halfway through Game 7?
Well, I honestly didn’t think they’d get into Game 7 this year. You saw this team. They were 27-27 in the last 54 games. This is a team that no one thought would have gotten to the finals. I didn’t write them off just because of their championship pedigree and the guys they have on this roster. I think that’s what made it so attractive for Doc to come back that it’s an intriguing group, it’s a different group. I think it’s a really special group that he has there. You think about what they’ve done. They put this together. They got a title in the first year that Garnett and Allen come in. If Kevin Garnett‘s not hurt last year, they have a real good opportunity to win again. Then this year, they have a 13-point lead in the second half of an NBA finals Game 7. You’re talking about a team that was on the cusp of winning three straight NBA titles so I guess to him that’s something attractive to come back and give it one more try.
What is the perception around the league of Paul Pierce?
I would just say aging. Two years ago when they won this thing, he was the best player in the playoffs. He outplayed Kobe Bryant. He outplayed LeBron James. He was the best player in the playoffs bar none. He was unbelievable. Just saw some chinks in the armor this year. He got banged up. He got injured. Looked to me to be a tired player at the end of the season last year. Quite frankly, I’d say Ron Artest outplayed him in Games 6 and 7, which I would have never thought possible. So he’s an aging guy. I think he’s only 31, but he just seems to have a lot of mileage on him. You know, an aging superstar. He’s still a superstar player though. Read the rest of this entry »
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