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The Boston Celtics Do Not Need a Formal Captain

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COMMENTARY | When the Boston Celtics traded Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets, they lost their longtime captain.

It has been a forgone conclusion in recent years that Pierce would be the team's formal leader, as he had been through it all as a member of the Celtics.

With Brad Stevens taking over the coaching duties, one of his responsibilities will be figuring out if the team will replace Pierce's spot as captain. Admittedly, the role sometimes can be nothing more than a formality, depending on the player. You can be a great leader without the "C" next to your name on the roster, and you can be a terrible one with it.

According to Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston, it looks like the Celtics will enter the 2013 season without a captain. As Forsberg notes, this would be the first time the Celtics did this in 63 years.

The most obvious option for the "C" is Rajon Rondo, the team's star point guard. He is the best player on the roster, which some consider an important criteria. Rondo also figures to be the team's vocal leader on the floor, as he'll be responsible for running a lot of the offense.

Of course, there are the rumblings that Rondo is not a good leader. He's stubborn, for sure, but the issues regarding Rondo's attitude have largely been overblown.

Does it matter if the Celtics have a captain or not?

Probably not. What exactly does the "C" next to your name mean? Is it any more than a formality or a sign of respect to someone who's given a lot to your franchise? An NBA team should have multiple players who can lead without the title, as we saw with Kevin Garnett during his time in Boston.

Brad Stevens is new to the NBA and to the Celtics, so it's important to keep in mind that he truly doesn't know what the dynamic of the team is like. He won't tab a captain simply for the sake of doing so, which is a smart move.

Some people will read way too deeply into this as Stevens already not trusting Rondo. Being a captain is often nothing more than a formal title, so let's not get worked about it.

Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering New England sports for various blogs over the past 4 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.

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