Hey, guys, Roy here making my front page debut. Three Celtics related tid-bits for everybody to chew on this afternoon. First, the Celtics are announcing Paul Pierce is out for tonight's game in Philadelphia:
Paul Pierce will not play tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers, though team spokesman Jeff Twiss said that this did not mean the Celtics captain was shutting down for the rest of the season.
Team officials consider Pierceâ€™s status day to day. He could return to action as early as Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Pierce traveled with the team to Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon but did not attend this morningâ€™s team shootaround.
While the team is announcing that Pierce isn't done for the season, I wouldn't be so sure. With important games coming up against Milwaukee and Atlanta, this might be the end of The Truth for the year.
In other Pierce-related news, Paul spoke with Jackie MacMullan about his role on the team, and how he sees his future. As can be expected, Pierce is disappointed in how the team has progressed this year. Disappointment with wins and losses is to be expected, but apparently Paul wants more exposure / marketing opportunities, as well:
Pierce concedes he is bothered by his diminished standing in the game because of his affiliation with the Celtics. He is not featured in NBA promos. Even though he was injured during All-Star balloting, his name was rarely mentioned as a worthy choice had he been healthy. Boston was one of just six teams that did not appear on national broadcasts this season. Major endorsement opportunities outside of New England have slowed to a trickle. "The Truth" has become an afterthought.
"I want to be recognized for what I've accomplished," Pierce said. "That may sound selfish, but I've sacrificed a lot. I want to win. That's all I want. Most great players are selfish.
"We're not on a winning team, and as long as that's true, I don't get recognized as one of the top players in the league. We're never on TV. I wasn't part of the All-Star Game [this season]. We just don't get the benefit of so many other things that winning teams get."
From my perspective, Paul's words sound just a tad ungrateful. While I understand his frustration, the fact is that he signed a nice, fat, max-contract extension to stay here. If he is now worried about his marketing opportunities and his lack of all-star status, it's his own fault for re-upping with the team. I love Paul, but it sounds a little like our superstar wants to eat his cake and have it, too.
Lastly, apparently the Celtics' brass is listening to Paul's demands to upgrade the talent on the team. Jackie is reporting that "If the pick is No. 1 or No. 2, the Celtics will draft Oden or Durant (in that order). If it's No. 3 or lower, team sources said, they will shop it." Jackie also speculates that Big Al may be on the move, but she offers nothing to back that up other than he own conjecture. Still, it's something to ponder.
Alright, that should be enough for everybody to debate until game time. Let me say, though, I have a newfound respect for Jeff -- posting on the front page is much, much harder than doing so in the forums.