Paul Pierce was only a Wizard for one season but he made an incredible impact on the franchise.
Of course, he hit what was probably the biggest shot in Wizards history when he called "game" against the 60-win Hawks in the 2015 playoffs. A more long-lasting effect he will have is what Bradley Beal learned from him.
"Paul's a true pro," Beal said on The Woj Pod with Adrian Wojnarowski. "I think the biggest thing I learned is that you have work on your craft every day, and we all know that as hoopers but to see a vet in his 17th year still be the first guy in, the last guy to leave, icing his body, just doing everything that he was supposed to do at that age and still play at a high level for us, that really hit home with me."
Of course, Beal didn't always think so highly of Pierce.
"Just being around him for a year was amazing, just true leadership skills," Beal said. "At first I thought Paul was a pure [expletive], I thought he hated everybody, I thought he didn’t like people, but it was the complete opposite.
"He rides for his team," Beal said. "If you're his teammate, you're his boy. But if you're on the opposite team, he's not talking to you, and so I've learned that and kind of developed that same mentality."
Pierce was the face of the Boston Celtics for 15 years. The 10-time All-Star won the title in 2008, but before reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he had to go through the trials of being a great player on a sub-par team.
That's something Beal can relate to this season as the Wizards go through a rebuild with John Wall sidelined for the season with an Achilles injury. Beal has said how he went to Ray Allen for advice on leading Washington's younger players through a presumed unsuccessful season, so he certainly has a wealth of future Hall of Fame role models to get him through these trying times.
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