Paul Pierce wasn't taking the bait when asked about his level of frustration so far this season.
“I don’t know if I can put it at a level,” he replied. “You don’t like to lose. You don’t like to be injured. But that’s what I think makes me the player that I am. I don’t get down. I don’t go home and sulk. I just try to see what I can do to help this team get better. I just try to stay positive no matter what the situation is. That’s all I can do, that’s all I’ve ever done.”
Back in 2007-08, the Celtics acquired Garnett and Allen to join Pierce in Boston and then ripped off 20 wins in their first 22 games. And it all culminated with a title. Things haven’t gone nearly as smoothly in Brooklyn.
“I knew it was gonna be tough because in 2008 we got together in September and we went away for training camp to Rome,” Pierce said. “This year we came into training camp with injuries. Our point guard Deron [Williams] has been hurt since training camp. He’s kind of the head of our snake, and the way we’re going to play is going to be determined by how he pushes the tempo. That’s kind of been the missing element for us. But until we get him back, I don’t know if we’ll be able to see our true potential.”
Pierce was asked about the transition of being a role player.
“I’ll figure it out. I’m not a selfish player,” he replied. “If I have to come off the bench or not play and be a cheerleader on the bench, if it’s going to help us win then I’ll do that.”
On Boston: Pierce is surprised with the start the first-place Celtics have gotten off to under rookie coach Brad Stevens.
“I think they’re coming together. They’re really surprising a lot of people,” Pierce said. “Guys are stepping up. They’re playing good team ball. They’re running. They’re playing together despite [Rajon] Rondo being out.”
Pierce is in the final year of his contract and will make $15.3 million this season.
Beyond that, his future is unclear.
Asked about potentially signing a one-day contract with the Celtics so he can retire there when his playing days are through, Pierce replied, “I don’t know. We’ll see when it comes to that. I don’t know how long I’m going to be playing. Who says next year will be my last year? When it’s time to cross that road, then we’ll see.”