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Pierce says Rondo injury was first domino in Boston rebuild

Aug 12, 2013, 12:43 PM EDT

Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo AP

It was back in January when any hope of the Boston Celtics as contenders was completely dashed — Rajon Rondo had torn his ACL and was done for the rest of the campaign.

That was also the day the first domino fell that eventually led to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett being traded to the Nets and the Celtics started their rebuild.

Don’t take my word for it, that is according to Pierce himself, in an interview with the Boston Herald.

“It was like a domino effect,” Pierce said. “It was like (the Rondo injury) was there and then Doc. When you put all that stuff together, you know the writing was on the wall.”

With an older team like Boston was, you are either contenders or you should be rebuilding, being old and average is not good. The Celtics were not contenders either way, but with Rondo they were more like a dangerous five seed. That wasn’t good enough.

Pierce gets that intellectually, even if in his heart he is still a Celtic.

“It would be hard to contend,” Pierce told the Herald yesterday, the last day of his camp at Basketball City in the shadow of the Garden. “I saw the vision. I saw all that. As a player, I’m selfish. I want what’s going to be good for me and the team. But you’ve got to look at the management looking at what’s down the road. If it’s up to me I would want to rebuild to win a championship by bringing players in. They were looking at the future, down the line.

“Rajon might not be here for the beginning of the year or however long he takes, so it would be tough for us to be a contender or get in a position to contend. Everybody saw that and I think that helped the decision on both sides.”

Pierce has said this is something from all sides — this wasn’t Doc Rivers abandoning the team or other such nonsense. This was a time for the parting of the ways and it was a decision made by mature men; it’s just hard to see that when your emotions get in the way.

I’d love to think this story has run it’s course, but it hasn’t. Especially not with Brooklyn not coming to Boston until well into next season.

  1. sfsugator - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    sorry but they were going to blow it up anyways cause they weren’t beating the heat in a 7 game series.

  2. 12444uggg - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    I think they would have been close to contention again this year, but it’s better to get out while you can before it’s too late.

  3. 1historian - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    It had to be done and I think that everyone concerned handled it in the best possible way.

    Now it’s up to Rondo – when/if he comes back it will in all probability be HIS team. Don’t hurry his return – give him all the time he needs to get completely healed. (Make sure you get a lottery pick in 2014? That HAS to be a consideration?)

    But at some point it will be up to Rondo to take charge of a young, talented team – and act like a grown-up.

    If he can do it, great. If he can’t – Danny Ainge took ruthless lessons from Red Auerbach and he will NOT hesitate to pull the trigger. Even with RR’s poor rep there has to be a coach/owner combo out there that thinks they can handle RR. And Ainge will find them.

    For Celts’ fans it’s going to be an interesting next few years.

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