Mark Murphy writes a very well balanced, insightful look at the Paul Pierce, Doc Rivers relationship. Pretty eye-opening stuff. Some highlights:
``I never asked to be traded, though. I never lulled, and I never missed a practice.''
Gee, does that sound like any NBA stars we know? Stars that seem to get more credit than Paul? To me he could have said the exact same phrase by saying "I never pulled a McGrady, never pulled a Vince, never pulled an Iverson." Yet the media loves those guys (I've even heard analysts like Tim Legler go on about the heart that Vince is showing) and they go out of their way to question Paul. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
``I guess I got a little hot,'' he said of a contentious situation that carried beyond two brief courtside flare-ups with Rivers after he was benched this season. ``I know of one - no, two - arguments that ya'll don't know about.''
On one hand, this is unnerving. On the other hand, it doesn't surprise me one bit. You know that during a long season not everyone is going to get along. The fact that these guys handled it like adults behind closed doors is encouraging. Still, you have to wonder about the chances of a healthy long term relationship that gets off to such a rocky start.
For Pierce's part, ``I guess I got it, to use one of Doc's favorite terms.''
Rivers' ``They don't get it'' remark - which he pinned on the entire team following a dismal loss in Philadelphia April 12 - clearly grated on Pierce.
I think there is still some wounded pride in Paul right now, and I question if he and Doc really are on the same page. However, few could argue that they aren't making the best of the relationship these days. Lets hope it continues to improve. Otherwise, I will look back on this next quote as the first time it hit me that Paul could realistically be traded this offseason.
``I could see myself here next year,'' Pierce said with an emphatic but unconvincing nod, as a cloud moved overhead. ``But you never know.''
p.s. there are actually a number of C's links, but rather than type them all out, I'll just point you to Boston Sports Media Watch.