Paul Pierce happens to be his toughest critic, and on Tuesday, the Celtics captain proved this by referring to himself and his decisions this season as "stubborn."
Pierce's self-proclaimed stubbornness is in reference to his insistence to play through an injured thumb and knee — which he admits was drained of fluids in February, according to the Boston Herald.
"Yeah, I was a little stubborn, since in the past I was able to play through it, and it really affected my play," he said.
After winning the NBA All-Star Game's 3-point contest and participating in the All-Star Game, Pierce had the procedure done the very next day, on Feb. 15. He went on to start Boston's ensuing four games before sitting out three straight.
"It was a combination of everything. My knee, after the All-Star break, I got it drained, and it took me a few weeks to get the strength back in that. Then I sprained my thumb. It was the little things that were happening to me," Pierce told the Herald.
Head coach Doc Rivers agrees that Pierce's return was a little premature.
"[Returning too soon] hurt him for a period longer than if we had rested him more or rehabbed him more. Nothing we can do about now. We?re kind of past it," Rivers said. "We?re trying to get him back to being the go-to guy, the guy coming out of timeouts you can lean on, and he?s starting to get back to that, which is really important."