Friday, August 9, 2013

Player Introduction: Paul Pierce

Any NBA fan can tell you who Paul Pierce is. For those of you who don't know him, allow me to introduce you to him.

Paul Pierce, for the last 15 years, had been a member of the Boston Celtics organization. He was drafted by Boston 10th overall in the 1998 Draft. In his time with the Celtics, Pierce has posted outstanding numbers, averaging 21.8 points, 3.9 assists, and six rebounds per game. He's a career 44.7% shooter from the field and a 37% shooter from the three-point line. In 2008, Pierce won his first and only Championship on a Celtics team that also included the likes of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

Pierce coming to Brooklyn fills a huge slot that the Nets had trouble getting production out of in 2012-13. With very little statistical input coming from Gerald Wallace, the Nets found themselves even more shallow than they previously thought. The addition of Pierce gives the Nets a reliable starting small forward with the ability to stretch the floor. Something they didn't have at all last season.

The addition of Paul Pierce also gives them something else they lacked during their first season in Brooklyn: leadership. Pierce is a future first ballot Hall of Famer who has championship experience under his belt. His ability to be a leader on and off the court will play a huge role in the Nets' success this season. He knows what it takes to win a championship.

Though Pierce will play a large role in the Nets' chase for an NBA Championship, he will have his minutes monitored by Jason Kidd. At 35, Pierce isn't the young guy who can play 35 minutes every night anymore.

Last season with Boston, Pierce averaged 18.6 points, 4.8 assists (career high), and 6.3 rebounds per game in 33.4 minutes. His role changed with the Celtics last season when Rajon Rondo went down with a torn ACL. He went from being the teams leading scorer to being the teams distributor as well. That made his minutes per game average go up big time.

Pierce seems excited to be in Brooklyn as he has already made two sponsored appearances in New York City, one with G-Shock and another with Sprint. In an interview with ESPN Radio, Pierce stated that:
"I think the hate [for the Knicks] has grown a little. Everybody knows how much I disliked the Knicks when I was with the Celtics, but I think it's grown to another level. I think it's time for the Nets to start running this city."
This may have struck a nerve with Knick fans, but it sure did spice up the rivalry even more.

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