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Boston athletes share natural bond

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 20, 2012 10:36 AM

I donít know about you, but Iím still reeling from that Patriots loss. Playing at the Garden on the first Sunday with no football made me realize itís going to be awhile before we get to see Tommy and the crew back in action.

I was devastated. I wanted Brady, Wilfork and the rest of the guys who have been here for so many years to get that next ring. Winning the Super Bowl would have brought them to the next level, but it just wasnít meant to be. The Pats had a great year and you canít take anything away from them, their accomplishments, or what they were able to do this season.

Losing on a big stage is a terrible feeling, Iíve been there. Iím sure theyíre going into the offseason with a bitter taste, but they are competitive and theyíll be back. You can never go wrong when youíve got my boy Brady in the pocket and Belichick on the sideline! Wilfork is one of the greatest linemen of all time. Iíve had a chance to watch him pretty much most of his career here and heís just a great player, and he had arguably one of his best years.

As you can tell, Iím a huge Patriots fan, and a huge Boston sports fan in general. Typically, I try to make it to at least a game or two at Gillette, but unfortunately I didnít get out there this year with our schedule and the shortened season. I am of course a fan of the Red Sox. As for hockey, I got to watch my first Bruins game last year during the Stanley Cup Finals. Iíve seen a lot as a Boston fan here, and one of my favorite Boston sports memories was getting to throw out the first pitch at Fenway after we won the NBA Finals in 2008.

Thereís a lot of pressure that comes from being a professional athlete in the Boston limelight and I think that helps Boston athletes to share a natural bond. People here have very high expectations, in that they expect championships every year from each one of their teams. I definitely understand that and approach our game like that, and we donít hang division or conference championship banners in the Garden. Itís World Championship or bust!

To be honest though, the lean years here were tough, so I know how happy the Bruins must have felt to get back to the top last year. Since Iíve been in Boston, I donít think any city has won more titles across the board. I never would have thought that as a Celtic, I would see a team in each sport win championship. From the Sox to the Bruins, to the Pats and the green, this is truly a city of champions!

You fans are the driving force behind those championships. There is no other sports city like Boston because you guys are the best fans in the world. You donít just show up and get loud, but youíre educated on the sports, and it shows.

Weíre getting closer to the postseason with the Celtics, and I truly believe weíll be there at the end. Weíre going to work as hard as we can to be here come playoff time. The Bruins are killing it and it is almost time for Red Sox Spring Training. Things are looking up, and spring is just around the corner.

And, if I got anything to say about it weíll be playing at the Garden well into the spring!

175x60piercelogo.jpgPaul Pierce's Truth on Health campaign empowers and encourages young people to lead healthier lives by providing them with the information, resources, and tools necessary to become more active and physically fit. To learn more, visit www.truthonhealth.org

Follow Paul Pierce on Twitter @PaulPierce34 and @TruthonHealth and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/paulpierce

Passing Larry Bird a humbling milestone

Posted by Jason Tuohey February 10, 2012 03:47 PM

Man that one stings. Really tough loss against the Lakers, especially on the home court, but weíll move on and use it as motivation for the next time. But, finally I can say weíre back to playing the kinda ball I know weíre capable of! You can see us starting to get a better feel for each other, especially on defense.

I got to celebrate a pretty cool personal milestone on Tuesday night against Charlotte, one I never even dreamt of when I first got drafted by the Celtics. Of course, team success and gettin' back to the Finals is my main priority, but I wouldnít be telling the truth if I said I wasnít proud to become the second all-time leading scorer in Celtics history. If you look at how many great players have worn the green, Iím humbled to be recognized among them. This was a real special moment and Iím glad it happened at the Garden in front of my home crowd. You guys have been behind me all these years and so itís yours as much as mine.

While individual accomplishments arenít something I think about a lot, itís good to see the hard work pay off and that I got to do it all with one of the greatest franchises in sports. This day and age, having a player spend their whole career with one team isnít something you see too much. And itís definitely a two-way street. Wyc, Danny and Doc had the faith in me to keep me here and Iím grateful for that and try to go out there every night and show them and my teammates that they made the right choice.

Iíve been through a lot of good and some not so good years here, but Iíve been lucky enough to stay pretty healthy, and just remain persistent and consistent. Itís a combination of things you gotta have to reach this type of accomplishment. A lot of things have to go in your favor, but youíve still got to put in the hard work and take care of yourself. Thatís something Iíve definitely focused on the past few years and something Iíve tried to share with my fans, especially the kids out there, through my Truth on Health Campaign, www.truthonhealth.org. I try to pay a lot of attention to what I eat and make sure that Iím getting enough rest. Playing professional ball for a living, you have to make these things a part of your lifestyle, especially as you get older. Itís a big goal of mine to try and instill these values in young kids now so that it becomes part of their life too.

Now that Iíve moved into 2nd, I keep getting questions on whether I think Iíll pass my man Hondo to eventually retire as the top Celtics scorer in history Ė to be honest, Iím not so sure. Anythingís possible of course, but 4,500 is a lotta points man! I think about how long I want to play, and health will always be a factor, but itís also something Iím not really chasing. I never thought about passing Larry Bird when I first came to this franchise. All you really think about is trying to win a championship and being the best player that you can be and the individual achievements will come. Passing Havlicek isnít really something Iím gonna chase and Iím not the kinda guy who continues to play just for the records. Our ultimate goal is always to try and bring back another championship to Boston. Thatís definitely my priority. I think youíre remembered more for winning titles than personal records in this sport because itís such a team game. And, thatís especially true here in this city. They donít call Boston Title Town for nothing!

Follow Paul Pierce on Twitter @PaulPierce34 and @TruthonHealth and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/paulpierce

About the author

Paul Pierce is the captain of the Boston Celtics. Pierce has spent his entire career with the Celtics since being drafted in 1998 out of Kansas, and led them to their 17th NBA Championship in 2008, when he was the NBA Finals MVP. More »

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