Paul Pierce spoke to reporters at his annual camp at the Basketball City facility in Boston and said he pushed for the acquisition of Shaquille O’Neal and confirmed that the big man nicknamed him “The Truth.”
Pierce (pictured right guarding one of his camp employees) isn’t satisfied, however. He believes the Celtics need one more player, preferably someone to relieve him off the bench.
“I think we’re right there at top,” he said. “I think we’re one of the top four or five teams in all of basketball. I still like we need another piece. I think we could use another wingman off the bench after losing Tony Allen. I think he was real valuable what he brought in the playoffs so for the most part of I love our team. I think we’re better now that we were in June. But also I still think we need another piece if we’re going to win it all and not just get there.”
And he touched on the signing of O’Neal.
“It’s going to be fun to have the big fella in the locker room,” Pierce said. “I think he fits in with what we’re trying to do, especially with (Kendrick Perkins) out. It’s going to be fun watching Rondo give him the ball, watching him receive passes from KG (Kevin Garnett). I think he’s going to be a lot better with us than he was in Cleveland.”
Ainge said he spoke with the Big Three and Rajon Rondo about signing O’Neal and the vote was 4-0 in favor of bringing The Diesel in. Pierce confirms that.
“I pushed for it,” he said. “You look around and you look at the free agents, Shaq was the best available. And Perk being out half of the season, you know how ACL injuries go sometimes, you could be out 5-6 months or be out a year sometimes, you never know. We needed another big guy. I talked to Danny even two or three weeks before we got Shaq. I talked to (majority owner) Wyc (Grousbeck), I talked to Pags (co-owner Steve Pagliuca) and I think we all thought that was a good move to try to pursue him just to add depth there.”