Pierce defying league logic

October, 25, 2012
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/GettyPaul Pierce remains at the top of his game at age 35.
WALTHAM, Mass. -- In addition to the wealth of individual accolades he's earned over the course of his 14-year NBA career, Paul Pierce has continued to defy league logic, remaining productive well into his 30s, past the prime of his playing days.

Though he's now 35, Pierce has yet to see significant drop-offs in any of the key areas he typically impacts for Boston. He's still the team's best 1-on-1 offensive player, a steady rebounder, and a stout defender. Pierce's longevity isn't the norm, but neither is his passion for the game, which he credits for helping him maintain a high level of play.

"I think you've got to have it in you. I think you've got to have a certain competitiveness in you, to want it," Pierce said after practice Thursday. "A lot of guys who are so talented throughout the years have fallen off, and I think they probably lose love for the game as they get older, as their talent diminishes.

"You really have to love the sport to be good for a long time. You've got to get the work in in the summer. It has to be in you. You see the guys where it's not in them. They don't do things that they did that made them the best player. They stopped doing them."

Pierce might be defying his age, but he's not denying it. He said he's seen changes in his offseason routine, particularly in recent years, that conform more to his body than to his game.

"Well you change up things, based on your age, and what you're capable of," Pierce explained. "I think I probably take more days off and rest my body, save some of the miles during the summer. But I do enough to be ready for training camp, to be prepared for the season, and I know what I need to do to be ready, and that's the key."

Though he knows retirement isn't too far off at this point, Pierce still finds himself in a position to chase a second championship. When asked to consider his goals for the remainder of his career, it came as no surprise when Pierce said another title rests at the top of the list.

"Well, I want to stay injury free, I want to be consistent in everything I do, and ultimately, try to win another championship," Pierce said. "That's pretty much the goal. I don't really have any individual goals outside of just staying healthy. But as far as earning something, it's going to be a championship. That's my goal. That's my career."



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Baseball Tonight

Buster Olney discusses the pine tar incident involving Yankees P Michael Pineda with Alex Speier and Keith Law and wonders if MLB should allow certain substances to be used.

On Michael Pineda, 4/24

Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic share their thoughts on the ejection of Michael Pineda from Yankees-Red Sox and the conspicuous placement of the pine tar.

Jonny Gomes, Red Sox

Red Sox OF Jonny Gomes discusses the atmosphere in Boston, the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, his team's slow start and more.

Larry Lucchino, Red Sox

Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino discusses his team's response to the Boston Marathon bombings, how the city bounced back from the tragedy and more.

Donnie Wahlberg, Actor

Actor Donnie Wahlberg talks about this year's Patriots' Day, his experience involving last year's Boston Marathon, security presence in the city and more.

Martin J. Walsh, Boston

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh comments on how this Patriots' Day differs from those in the past, securing the marathon, the role sports plays in the city and more.

Kevin Millar, MLB

MLB Network's Kevin Millar weighs in on the uniqueness of Patriots' Day 2014, the Nationals' benching of Bryce Harper, the brawl during Brewers-Pirates and more.


Jeff Green
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9