Celtics

Paul Pierce on Ray Allen: 'We hugged, talked about it and it’s over with'

Paul Pierce on Ray Allen: 'We hugged, talked about it and it’s over with'

BOSTON – It was a sight Boston Celtics fans thought they might never see again: Paul Pierce with Ray Allen, side by side, seemingly happy.
 
“I just saw he left for Miami, our rival, and got mad at that,” Pierce said during an exclusive interview with CSN.
 
Allen’s departure to the Heat in 2012 would bother Pierce for years, leading to what became an icy relationship that’s finally showing signs of thawing out.
 
The two were part of a celebrity basketball game in China, a chance encounter that seems to have provided a second chance of sorts to rekindle a friendship that has been anything but that for years.

LISTEN TO A. SHERROD BLAKELY'S FULL INTERVIEW WITH PAUL PIERCE


 
And the timing could not be any better with this being the 10-year anniversary of their 2008 title run, an occasion that will be recognized at some point this season by the Celtics.
 
Pierce said he knew at some point, whatever issues he and his teammates had with Allen would have to be buried.
 
“I said, even months ago, ‘we gotta come together at some point,’” Pierce said. “We gotta let it go at some point. I figure if it’s gonna happen, maybe I’ll be the one, the mediator.
 
Pierce added, “It left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth, no doubt. But at some point, you have to grow out of it. We’re out of the game now as far as me and Kevin [Garnett] and Ray. I’m over it. It happened then. It was a long time ago. But at the end of the day you have to realize, Ray helped this become what it was when we were here.”
 
The trio led one of the greatest turnarounds in NBA history, leading Boston to its 17th NBA title and a 66-16 regular season record after the Celtics won just 24 games the season prior.

Pierce hasn’t had a chance to talk with Garnett and Rajon Rondo yet about burying the hatchet with Allen, but he’s confident they’ll warm up to the idea.
 
“Eventually we get over things and move on, just like in relationships, good and bad relationships do,” Pierce said. “We hugged, talked about it and it’s over with.”

 
But those memories will come to life this season as fans, the franchise and the media reminisce over that magical season that helped catapult Pierce from one of the better Celtics players into a franchise legend.
 
Because as Pierce found out during his 15 seasons in Boston, good players come and go but those who win championships become immortals in the eyes of Celtics Nation.
 
“I’m just happy I could leave a legacy behind,” said Pierce who ranks among the franchise’s top-5 leaders in several categories. “I had spent 15 years here and to put a championship (banner up) with a team that drafted you, that doesn’t happen very often. So, it means a lot to me. I was able to be part of something for this generation to talk about. The kids today, hear the stories from their parents about Larry Bird and Kevin McHale and how with us winning a championship, a newer generation will have something to hang their hat on too. If we didn’t win a championship, there wouldn’t be nothing to talk about. I’m happy to give this generation something to hang their hat on.”
 
And that title run, regardless of how the players involved feel about one another, will always be remembered as the Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen restoring the luster and shine of the most storied franchise in NBA history.
 
“We’re going to be linked together for life, whether we like it or not,” Pierce said. “Eventually we have to let go.”

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Gordon Hayward already back on the court and draining threes

hayward-rehab-122117.png

Gordon Hayward already back on the court and draining threes

Gordon Hayward had just about the most horrific debut any player could imagine.

We won't get into the details again, but it left many wondering the Celtics would even recover emotionally to compete in the East.

Now it's clear they are more than prepared to make some noise in the playoffs.

The most important recovery is Hayward's and tonight fans scrolled through social media to see encouraging progress.

Still can’t beat me... 🤷🏻‍♀️

A post shared by Robyn Hayward (@robynmhayward) on

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Irving: Struggling Celtics must 'weather the storm'

Irving: Struggling Celtics must 'weather the storm'

BOSTON – While it’s too soon to hit the panic button on the Boston Celtics’ season, Sunday’s 103-95 loss to Orlando is disturbing on multiple fronts. 

For starters, the Magic (14-32) have been in the NBA basement most of the season, so for them to see the light towards victory, on the road nonetheless, against the Celtics is bothersome for the Green Team. 

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Boston came into Sunday’s game with an impressive 17-3 record against teams with a sub-.500 record.

Making matters even worst, it was Boston’s third straight loss – a first for the Celtics this season - with all three defeats coming at the TD Garden. 

Celtics big man Al Horford said the team needs a “Fight for our lives’” mentality heading into Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. 

While no one wants to lose game, having to overcome some hurdles along the journey isn’t always a bad thing.

“Gotta have some adversity,” said Kyrie Irving who led all scorers with 40 points - the second time he has reached the 40-point plateau this season (47 points, Nov. 20 at Dallas). “We need it as a team. There’s a lot more adversity down the road. You have to be able to weather the storm no matter what.”

Aside from Gordon Hayward’s dislocated ankle injury in the season-opener, dropping three straight is probably the biggest adversity the Celtics have had this season. 

And this latest setback came against an Orlando franchise that the Celtics have absolutely owned at home. 

Prior to Sunday’s loss, Boston had not lost to the Magic at home since Feb. 7, 2010 with 14 straight wins.

"We didn't underestimate them," said Boston's Jaylen Brown who had 17 points. "They've been playing a lot better than they've been playing all year."

Al Horford echoed similar sentiments.

“You can’t underestimate any team,” Horford said. “I don’t think we necessarily did, but we need to have that sense of urgency like we started the game and be able to hold that throughout the game. That’s important.”

So is making the most of transition scoring opportunities which was an area of play in which the Celtics struggled mightily all game. 

Boston wound up with six, fast-break points on just 3-for-9 shooting. 

“We had some transition opportunities that we didn’t covert,” acknowledged Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. 

Failing to capitalize on those easy scoring opportunities came back to hurt Boston and in hindsight, proved to be one of the key differences in the game’s outcome. 

“Whether you’re doing things at an optimum level as you would like, that’s part of the game of learning one another,” Irving said. “Being able to figure out how to respond from that. Us as a group, we’ve come together in the last four months, five months, it’s new. We need to hit something like this in order for us to grow. It’s part of the game; part of being on a team, part of being a professional. Any team, any environment, you have to have stuff like this where you have to figure it out.”

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