Terry praises Pierce, needles LeBron

BOSTON -- After Paul Pierce put up 40 points in a win Wednesday night against the Cavaliers, teammate Jason Terry was asked to describe the perception of Pierce around the league. Terry gushed about Boston's captain and, maybe given the opponent on this night, took a subtle jab at one of its departed superstars.

“Oh, he’s a Hall of Famer. He’s a champion," Terry said of Pierce. "One of the greatest Celtics to ever put on the uniform, and that’s saying a lot. One day his jersey will be up there in the rafters. Not a lot of guys in this league stay with one franchise. You could count them on your hand right now, and there’s not many that are superstars that’ve been in the league longer than 12 or 13 years, and he’s one of them. His hard work, his dedication, his willingness to stick through the tough times, and not just jump off and say, ‘I’m out of here. I’m going to go join forces with Kobe [Bryant].’ Or, ‘I’m going to go play with Dwyane Wade.’"

Realizing his somewhat unintentional jab at LeBron James' taking his talents from Cleveland to South Beach, Terry paused a second and smiled.

"That’s a shot right there," he said, before picking up right where he left off with Pierce. "But [Pierce said], ‘I’m going to tough it out.’ I think that’s what guys look at and they respect him.”