COMMENTARY | In today's NBA, it is particularly hard for any player to spend all of their playing days with the same team. The free agency market makes it easy for players to leave for greener pastures every couple of years, and general managers are always looking for the right deal to make their team better. When a player is able to stay in the same place for a long career, however, it can be quite special.
Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, and Dirk Nowitzki are a few legends who have spent their entire career with the same team. Prior to the deal between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, Paul Pierce was also on this list.
While loyalty is far from a regular thing in the sports world, many believe that franchises owe a certain degree of loyalty to their star players. We've seen this from Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who has refused to trade Nowitzki. It's hard to imagine the Spurs ever trading Duncan, and the Lakers would have a very tough time dealing Bryant.
After enduring some tough times in Boston and eventually bringing a championship to town, many thought that Danny Ainge owed it to Paul Pierce to let him leave on his own terms. Apparently, Pierce also believed this.
Pierce says that while he understands the nature of business in the NBA, it certainly hurt to hear his name in trade rumors. He understands that Boston was no longer at the level where they could compete for a championship, but he thinks that he earned the right to stay with the team until he wanted to leave.
This is certainly a sticky issue, and you can understand both sides. It's Danny Ainge's job to do what is best for the team, even if it means dealing a star who has done so much for your franchise. In a way, Ainge probably even felt that he was doing Pierce a favor by sending him to a contender.
On the other hand, it's easy to see why Pierce feels a little betrayed, especially when other franchises stand so firmly behind their long-time star players.
It would have been nice to see Pierce ride off into the sunset with the Boston Celtics, but the business side of things took over.
Regardless, it's easy to see that Paul Pierce has truly been hurt by all of this.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering the Celtics for 3 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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- Sports & Recreation
- Paul Pierce
- Boston Celtics
- Danny Ainge
- Dirk Nowitzki
- Kobe Bryant