Paul Pierce might be with the Brooklyn Nets, but his heart still belongs to the city of Boston. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe outlined Pierce's feelings for Boston and how he hopes to return to the Celtics in one form or another someday.
NBA story lines as training camps prepare to open - Sports - The Boston Globe
Paul Pierce said it’s been difficult to say goodbye to Boston after 15 years, and as he approaches his first Nets’ training camp — along with Kevin Garnett — the past few months have allowed him to reflect.
Pierce said he wants to be a fixture in Boston following his playing days, not just showing up for his retirement ceremony and heading to Malibu, Calif., the next morning. Pierce said he wants to establish something substantial in Boston, having grown attached to the city despite growing up in Inglewood, Calif., as a Lakers fan.
"Ultimately, what I would like to do is have a business in Boston," he said. "Maybe like a sports bar. I would love to do something like that here. None of the former Celtic great players have come and done that. I thought about it, and why hasn’t anyone come and opened up a nice restaurant? You see the Don Shula restaurant, the Michael Jordan restaurant, and Magic [Johnson] got the theaters in LA. Why nobody here? All this history, all these championships and love, why has nobody done that?
"I am going to still have relationships here. I’m always going to come to this city. Every year, when I’m done, I’m going to have a reason to come here."
Pierce said he holds no grudges toward the Celtics, and again pointed to a future relationship with the organization.
"Who knows? I may be working for Wyc Grousbeck or Danny Ainge," he said. "A lot of players don’t understand it. I’ve always understood it. And [other players] let their pride and ego get in the way. I’ve made a lot of money here, I’ve built relationships, won a championship here, I thank y’all for everything y’all gave me. How can I be mad for everything they’ve given me. I’m thankful."
The prospect of reaching the championship pinnacle again with the Nets is intriguing.
"Me and my best friend growing up were talking and he said, ‘Man, what if you win a championship in Brooklyn? Then what?’ " Pierce said. "It’s another level then. There’s a chance I could move up in the [all-time] ranks if I get another championship. So I am still going. And they’ve given me more tools and I’ve got something to build."
Pierce said the Celtics should have no trouble attracting major free agents. "The city of Boston has changed so much since I’ve been here," he said. "There are so many more things to do and the city has grown. I think it would be a great place to play.
"I enjoyed it here. Hopefully, the fact that guys like me and Kevin liked it here is a sign to other players that it’s a good city to play in. I’m excited about playing in Brooklyn, though. There weren’t too many places I wanted to go if I had to leave Boston, but Brooklyn is one of them."
None of what Pierce says is surprising to me, it's obvious he loves the city of Boston, but it's still so nice to read these words. It would be amazing if Paul came back someday with a role in the Celtics' front office and opened up a restaurant in the city.
Not to mention the fact his contract expires after this season and could always sign back with the team next offseason, but that's wishful thinking, isn't it? Pierce discusses his desire to win more championships and he has a chance to do that with the Brooklyn Nets. I hope he does, I'll be rooting for him to do it if the Celtics aren't in the playoffs.