Former Boston Celtics Paul Pierce, left, stands with Jayson Tatum before an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)AP
Pierce got some shots up himself for fun and spent some time chatting with new assistant coach Sam Cassell and assistant general manager Mike Zarren as he walked off the practice floor. However, his presence in Boston so early in camp was partially thanks to coach Joe Mazzulla.
“I sent an email out to all the Celtic former players because I felt like it’s important that we share in this experience together,” Mazzulla said on Wednesday. “They started the tradition, they kept it going and now it’s our responsibility as an organization to keep it alive. But when you don’t see them all the time, you don’t get that connection to the past. The only past we have is the banners alone. The past should be the banners, but it should be the people.
“So I thought it was extremely important that any and every Celtic is welcome to practice or a game so we can build that brotherhood of what we are. And I kind of compare it to college. Like, when guys go to the NBA, they always go back to their college to work out. We see that all the time. And so you should be coming back here. So I appreciate him and being there and extending that to everyone. And we just have to create that brotherhood, that environment.”
Derrick White spent some time with Pierce at a Colorado University football game over the weekend and enjoyed having the legend in attendance along with former Celtics like Leon Powe and Eddie House.
“Is there ever enough Paul Pierce time?” White said. B”ut he keeps saying that last week was my first CU game, so other than that it’s been good having him. It’s obviously good to see him. Obviously Paul’s a legend, a legend in this game and it’s great to have him here, supporting us, talking to the guys, that’s great. Eddie’s always around and Leon was here yesterday so it’s just good to see those guys and they had great careers so you can learn so much from them.”
Tatum also spoke on media day Monday about his time with Pierce this summer.
“I spent a lot of time with Paul Pierce this summer, which was great,” Tatum said. He was really motivated. Paul actually lost 15-20 pounds. It was about four weeks. He came to the gym every day. It was cool to have him around. He told us a lot of stories about championship team, a lot of things we’ll try to help apply to this year. And hopefully we can see a lot more of Paul.”