Pierce took the long road to greatness

Originally Published: June 14, 2008
By Jackie MacMullan | ESPN.com

He is not a tidy superstar. You cannot neatly wrap the career of Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce, the newly minted NBA Finals Most Valuable Player and first-time champion, in a perfectly symmetrical box with a corresponding matching ribbon.

His path to greatness has been far too gnarly for that.

"You're right," he said, still gleefully gripping his championship hat in the wee hours Wednesday morning. "Life has so many hurdles. Some of them I've hopped over, and some of them ...

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