Paul Pierce has been the barometer and face of the Boston Celtics since he was taken 10th overall in the 1998 draft. He was supposed to be a top-five pick but he was passed over for the likes of Antawn Jamison and Robert "Tractor" Traylor. Unfortunately, Traylor was a bust and died while plying his trade in Puerto Rico. Jamison has been a serviceable journeyman but has never been the man or made a major impact on a contending team.
In fact, the only two players from that draft class that are Hall of Fame material are Dirk Nowitzki and Pierce.
In the past, Pierce had made it his personal mission to show other teams that they made a big mistake in not picking him in his projected slot. But now he is at the end of his career, and the "Truth" himself is either unwilling or unable to accept Rajon Rondo as the "One" who is going to move the franchise forward.
No one disputes Pierce's legacy; however, it would serve him well to practice what he preaches. During his preseason interview on Comcast Sports New England, he stated that how the Boston Celtics are now Rondo's team. Yet in the past few games it has been evident that he does not want to accept the convenient truth of the matter.
Rondo has been showing his new found scoring prowess, and it seems like Pierce—and to some extent Ray Allen—is having a hard time adjusting to it.
The knock on Rondo has always been that he can't score and that Pierce and Allen were being overly burdened with picking up the scoring slack. The truth of the matter is that they no longer have the legs to run with him. This has been evident in the past two to three years. Rondo would be running and he has had to slow down and wait for Pierce and Allen, who are always trialing the play.
This style of play has turned Rondo's strength into a weakness, thereby fostering the trade rumors. The Celtics cannot honestly say that they have given Rondo the tools to succeed around him. They are afraid that once Pierce and Allen are gone that Boston would no longer be in the conversation of contender.
That is hogwash! Rondo makes players better than what they are, because he understands when and how to get even limited offensive players, like Chris Wilcox, opportunities to thrive.
It may come down to either Pierce or Allen being traded, because since Rondo has started to do what everyone said he should do, the two veterans have been struggling. This struggle has spilled over into an impasse with Tommy Heinsohn and Mike Gorman, the television voices of the Celtics.
According to CSNNE, Gorman thinks Rondo should go back to thinking pass first. Heinsohn is of the school of thought that Pierce and Allen need to recognize that their opportunities are going to come more from running with Rondo. I am inclined to agree with Tommy.
It is true, that other teams still don't respect Rondo's new found confidence in his offense; it will take time and they will soon see how effective he can be with his expanded repertoire.
Boston is experiencing a painful transition period, and it shows in Pierce's game and his unwillingness to change. Make no mistake, Pierce is pouting. Until he recognizes that Rondo's emergence can truly benefit him, we will see more sullen looks and uninspired play from Pierce and Allen.