Paul Pierce knocks Kevin Durant's move to Warriors: 'I could have left Boston years ago but I stuck it out'

Paul Pierce knocks Kevin Durant's move to Warriors: 'I could have left Boston years ago but I stuck it out'

The biggest piece of news to emerge from Paul Pierce’s recent appearance on SiriusXM’s NBA Today was that No. 34 intended to retire as a member of the Celtics. That wasn’t the only takeaway, however, as the veteran small forward voiced his displeasure with Kevin Durant’s decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and team with the star-studded Golden State Warriors this offseason. 

AND THE WARRIORS' RESPOND -- Green backs Durant, fires back at at Pierce

“I’m an old-school guy. I’m a competitor,” Pierce said Wednesday. “You want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. That’s always been something that’s driven me. Today’s day and age, a lot of these guys are friends. That’s like if Bird decided to go play with Magic or something. I think the competition makes the game what it is. Oklahoma I felt like was a contending team. They had Golden State on the ropes. 

“I understand when you have great players who are on losing teams who are tired of losing, struggling in the playoffs every year. You’re the lone star. I’ve been in that position. I could have left Boston years ago but I stuck it out. I just feel like when you're that close as a competitor, you don't go join a team that just pushed you out. That's just me personally but we're living in a day and time where there's a new generation. Guys I don't think are as hungry or as competitive as my generation was, and that's why you'll probably see more of that."

Of course, with each word Pierce said, the elephant in the room grew larger and larger. After all, the 2007-08 Celtics are considered the first modern-era super-team, as the C’s added Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to a group that already had Pierce and went on to win the NBA championship. 

Asked about the difference between Pierce’s situation and that of the Miami Heat and Warriors in recent years, Pierce noted that unlike LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Durant, Allen and Garnett were acquired via trade, with the C’s giving up assets that included the fifth overall pick and Al Jefferson to form their Big Three. 

“That’s how you build teams. Sometimes there’s luck involved. You get the right trades involved,” Pierce said. “It wasn’t like Ray and Kevin went to the offseason as free agents and they talked it out and I talked to them and they said we were just going to form together. It just kind of fell into place. I think if Ray Allen hadn’t have been traded to Boston, Kevin probably never would have considered coming to Boston. The trade was there, it was on the table. He needed a week to think about if he was going to go.

“Nowadays, as you saw with LeBron, he was a free agent. As you saw with Durant, they were free agents and they decided to join. Ours just kind of came together like the perfect storm and it happened that way. Then once people saw the blueprint of that, they were like, let’s try to make that happen and see if we can win a championship as you saw in Miami and as you’re seeing currently here in Golden State.” 

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

NBC Sports Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

1:25 - With half of the Celtics roster on the shelf, we’ve been able to see just how great a scorer Jayson Tatum can be. A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Girardi and Trenni Kusnierek discuss how Tatum compares to Celtics legend, Paul Pierce.

5:35 - The NFL Competition Committee is giving it their best shot at modifying the ‘catch rule’ and Tom Curran, Kyle Draper and Hardy try to wrap their heads around the proposed changes.

11:02 - The Bruins clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Joe Haggerty joins Tom Giles to break down the game, which included another goal by Ryan Donato and a questionable call on a high hit on David Krejci.

Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday


Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday

The second opinion on Kyrie Irving’s sore left knee will be done on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett.

Irving, who has missed the last four games, is expected to decide between having a surgical procedure performed to help alleviate some of the soreness, or continue to manage it with rest.


During the 2015 NBA Finals, Irving suffered a fractured left kneecap injury which was the beginning of Irving’s left knee issues.

While Irving has had soreness of some form during various stretches of play this season, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen him making progress recently.

“That knee is still sore,” Stevens said. “He’s worked really hard to manage it throughout the entire season. He’s had some pretty good days recently. I’m encouraged by the big picture.”

But Stevens has made it clear that he supports Irving getting a second opinion, adding that Irving’s absence is due to the knee being too sore for him to play at a level he’s accustomed to.

“He’s out because of knee soreness, not because we’re choosing to rest him,” Stevens said. “That’s the bottom line. Again, we want him to feel 110 percent. He wants to feel 110 percent. Obviously, we’re fortunate we created a cushion early on in the year with playoffs and everything else. This is not one of those situations where we’re choosing to rest someone; it’s because he has a sore knee.”