Paul Pierce: “No Loyalty” in the NBA
NBA legend Paul Pierce has spoken about the the game, saying there is no such thing as player loyalty anymore.
Paul Pierce was speaking about Kyrie Irving to the Boston Sports Journal. He was asked whether or not he thinks Irving will remain with the Boston Celtics.
“You know what? It’s hard to really get a read on the players these days,” Paul Pierce said.
“There are so many changes being made. Who would have expected Kevin Durant to go to the Warriors? [DeMarcus] Cousins to the Warriors? LeBron [James] to Miami a few years ago? Players are just showing that they have the control and the power to do what they want.”
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Pierce puts the phenomenon down to increased player power in the NBA.
“There is no loyalty to a franchise anymore.
“You are not going to see a player stay with one franchise for 10-15 years. That’s the generation we live in. You have to brace for it. Guys want to play with certain teams, they want to play with certain guys they know, their friends. They’re showing they have the power.”
Pierce knows a thing or two about loyalty. He spent 15 of his 19 NBA seasons playing for the Boston Celtics, between 1998 and 2013.
After that, he had spells with Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers before retiring in 2017. So loyal was Pierce to the Celtics, he ensured that when he retired, he retired as a Celtic.
In July 2017, he signed a ceremonial contract with the Boston Celtics. The following August, the Celtics announced that his jersey would be retired in February 2018. During that ceremony, his jersey was raised to the rafters of TD garden after a Celtics-Cavaliers match. Pierce was the 23rd person in the history of Boston Celtics to be honored.