Paul Pierce has been tossing a lot of praise the Celtics’ way every since he officially joined the Brooklyn Nets last month. His latest comments contest the popular theory that the Celtics are doomed for the coming season and that Rajon Rondo will struggle to be the man in Boston.
Rondo might not be the typical go-to guy, Pierce insists, but that doesn’t mean the eighth-year point guard can’t break convention.
“Without question,” Pierce told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “I’ve already talked to Rajon; Rajon’s mature. People talk about the relationship with Doc [Rivers], and they probably had their best years over the last two years. So I don’t think that was a reason for Doc leaving. I’ve heard that, but that wasn’t a reason for Doc not coming back.
“Rondo is one of the best players in the league. He’s a guy who can be the face of a franchise. He’s won a championship, he’s been an All-Star. There’s a lot of organizations who don’t even have a face of that caliber.”
Pierce, who will make $15.3 million in the final year of the four-year, $61.3 million contract he signed in 2010, said previously that Rondo’s knee injury last season set off a “domino effect” that led to Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry being traded to Brooklyn after Rivers departed to coach the Clippers. A report last week indicated the Celtics are not trying to trade Rondo and that the team expects to see how he meshes with new coach Brad Stevens.