Paul Pierce is not blind or isolated from the talk. He knows (and probably knew the second that Doris Burke broke the news to him) that his name was going to be prominent in trade talk until the trade deadline. He also knows that teams that might be interested in trading for him might be listening to see if he'd be happy playing somewhere else. So I consider the following statement to be more than just cliched player-talk.
That seems pretty clear to me. 'Don't trade me' is what I hear.
Now, if he went to his hometown Clippers or went to another contender, would he be a professional and finish out the year there? Yeah, I think he would. In fact, most teams that would be interested in him would be looking to waive him (and his partially guaranteed deal) at the end of the season for cap purposes.
I don't see this as a threat or anything. Just a guy stating his honest, heartfelt desire to stay with the team he's always been a part of.
Speaking of retiring and legacies, an article co-written by J.A. Adande sparked some debate and conversation on twitter yesterday.
And why should Garnett retire a Celtic? Is he that ingrained in the franchise history? Yes, he was the driving force behind their 2008 championship, but Russell, Bird, McHale and the Chief look at that ring and say: "Is that all you got?" I don't think a single championship assures you a place among the all-time Celtics greats. Garnett is easily the greatest in the Minnesota Timberwolves pack, but I'm not sure he's done enough in Boston to get his jersey raised to the Garden rafters. And if he isn't rafter material, wouldn't that make him expendable now?
I'm not sure I even know where to begin with this paragraph. How about this. I don't agree with anything in it. Both Pierce and Kevin Garnett are automatic retired numbers.
Now if you really want to get into a debate over something, we can weigh the pros and cons of retiring Ray Allen's number. But frankly, after the game this weekend I'm not sure I care to argue about that right now.
Oh, and in case I haven't said it in the last 3 minutes: Don't trade Paul Pierce.