|Photo: Brian Babineau (Getty Images)
Pierce talked briefly about Rondo and the direction the Celtics as a franchise are heading towards after last night's 101-88 win over Boston.
"I was shocked definitely, because I thought this was the year they were going to maybe this summer find some pieces around him [Rondo]," Pierce said. "But he had a great run in Boston, and as long as he's happy, that's all that matters." [Boston Herald]Celtics President of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that not being able to surround Rondo with quality players was a big reason why he traded Rondo. Pierce agreed with that reasoning.
"I think so," Pierce said. "On top of him being a free agent. So it was a combination of things, I think.
"And Danny (Ainge) and Wyc (Grousbeck, a co-owner), they've got to make business moves. You know, 'Do we pay Rondo for the long term and still not be able to build around him, or do we build around the young guys that we've got here.' It's a tough decision when you're in that situation as a general manager or owner."Pierce mentioned the weekly mass text message that he shares with Rondo, Garnett and other former Celtics players, and said that Rondo is in a great state of mind and understands why he was dealt away.
|Photo: Washington Wizards (Twitter)
"We had a chance to talk. We had our weekly mass text, and he understood the situation," he said. "The Celtics were either going to go in one direction, build around him, or continue with the youth movement. So I think Rondo understood it."Pierce, the second leading scorer in Celtics franchise history, spent 15 years in Boston.
Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan are the only active players who have played 15-plus seasons with one club. It's something that's rare in today's game.
"That's the way it is," Pierce said. "I think it's going to be a long time before you see one player stay with one team for 15-plus years. You know, I think those days are pretty much gone, especially with the new collective bargaining agreement, players wanting to be in different places or play with their friends. It's just a new era I think we're living in. You're not going to see one player stay with one franchise I think ever again for that long."Both Pierce and Rondo have a chance to make it to the NBA Finals this year. The Wizards (21-8) are currently third in the Eastern Conference and even though the Dallas Mavericks are fifth in the Western Conference they're only three games behind first place.
The two former Celtics will face each other Tuesday night when the Washington Wizards head to Dallas, the second stop of their Western Conference road trip.