His trade to the Brooklyn Nets from the Boston Celtics sent shock waves through the NBA’s fraternity. But the chance to win a title with more tools and a new franchise seems to have rejuvenated the career of Paul Pierce, and now the perennial All-Star and future Hall of Famer has expressed his desire to build a business in Boston, building on his name and reputation as perhaps the single-most responsible player for bringing a 17th championship title to the city.
“Ultimately, what I would like to do is have a business in Boston,â€ he told the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “Maybe like a sports bar. I would love to do something like that here. None of the former Celtic great players have come and done that. I thought about it, and why hasn’t anyone come and opened up a nice restaurant? You see the Don Shula restaurant, the Michael Jordan restaurant, and Magic [Johnson] got the theaters in LA. Why nobody here? All this history, all these championships and love, why has nobody done that?”
Of all the top sports stars to emerge in Boston in the past 15 years, few would be as well-positioned as Pierce to start a business franchise in Boston. Pierce arrived as a rookie out of Kansas in the 97-98 season. Despite several hardships throughout the course of his career, including a nearly fatal stabbing incident in September of 2000, Pierce established himself as one of the five or six best Celtics players ever.
In 2008, the Celtics defeated the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Pierce won the Finals MVP award after appearing to go down in Game 1 with a catastrophic injury. It’s just part of what endeared Pierce to the city, part of why seeing him suit up four times this regular season — the first on Dec. 10 — will border on traumatic for fans in the city of Boston.
“I am going to still have relationships here,” he told the Globe. I’m always going to come to this city. Every year, when I’m done, I’m going to have a reason to come here.
“Who knows? I may be working for Wyc Grousbeck or Danny Ainge,â€ Pierce continued. “A lot of players don’t understand it. I’ve always understood it. And [other players] let their pride and ego get in the way. I’ve made a lot of money here, I’ve built relationships, won a championship here, I thank y’all for everything y’all gave me. How can I be mad for everything they’ve given me. I’m thankful.â€