Pierce understands, ignores rumors

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Pierce understands, ignores rumors

BOSTON Paul Pierce has been in the league long enough to know that trade rumors are part of the business.

Most of the time, you brush it off as just one of those things you have to deal with.

But with the Celtics continuing to struggle, Pierce understands all too well that he or any of his teammates could be shipped out between now and the March 15 trade deadline.

In his first comments since a report about teams inquiring about his availability via trade, Pierce refuseD to let such talk bother him or be a distraction.

"You can't pay attention to that," he said after the Celts' 79-71 loss to the Phoenix Suns Friday night. "That's part of the business. You just gotta do your job as a professional each and every day. That's about it."

But that's the problem.

The C's aren't doing their jobs - which is to win - with any kind of regularity.

Friday's loss dropped the Celtics (5-9) to four games below .500, continuing what has been an unprecedented season of struggles for the Green team.

Players have made no secret about wanting to keep the Big Three intact.

You would think all the trade talk would serve as added motivation for Pierce, who has said on more than one occasion that he wants to retire a Celtic and would like to see this core group stay together.

But he admits all the trade talk doesn't make him want to step his game up for that reason.

"What makes me want to play well," Pierce said, "is our record. That's more than anything."

And while he is well aware that his name and those of his teammates have been making the rounds on the trade rumor mill, his focus remains on who he's playing with.

"I don't really read the papers," he said. "I don't really monitor everything that's been said. I'm just more concerned about this group, what goes on in this locker room and with my teammates."

He added, "I'm just concerned with the boys in this room."

Report: Paul Pierce '50-50' about retirement after Clippers' exit

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Report: Paul Pierce '50-50' about retirement after Clippers' exit

After the Clippers were elminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, a disappointed Paul Pierce told ESPN that he was "50-50" about retirement. 

In a video after Portland's Game 6 victory posted on oregonlive.com, the former Celtics captain said his "heart is broken" by another playoff elimination. 

Pierce signed a a three-year, $10 million contract to return home (he grew up in Inglewood, Calif.) and play for his old coach Doc Rivers in Los Angeles.  He'll be 39 next season and coming off the worst season of his career. Pierce averaged 6.1 points, 36 percent shooting and 18 minutes a game, all career lows.

How does Isaiah Thomas improve? Eating right is one step

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How does Isaiah Thomas improve? Eating right is one step

WALTHAM, Mass. -- This past season, Isaiah Thomas took a major step forward to becoming more than just a solid NBA player, but one of the game’s best.
 
He knows he won’t stay among the elite for long if he doesn’t make some changes with the most notable being to his diet.
 
“I do not eat good,” Thomas acknowledged following his exit interview this week. “I eat like a young guy, a young guy who got a little bit of money, fast food every day. But I’m definitely going to change.”
 
The change becomes necessary not only in light of how the season ended for him and the Celtics, but also for his long-term goals, which include playing in the NBA until he’s at least 40 years old.
 
“I’m not that old but the greatest players took care of their bodies the best,” Thomas said.
 
Among those cited by Thomas who excelled at taking care of their bodies was former Celtic Ray Allen.
 
But Thomas was quick to add that he won’t go to the lengths that Allen did in maintaining good health.
 
“Because he’s a little crazy with that,” quipped Thomas. “I just want to play at a high level for a long time, like Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant. You have to take care of your body. That’s half the battle of performing out there on the floor.
 
Thomas added, “This is a big summer for me to start doing that.”
 
Eating right is just part of the transformation process for Thomas.
 
He’ll also modify is offseason workouts to include some work in the boxing ring with long time friend Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
 
“I’m definitely work with him a few times, get my conditioning right, probably train, do some boxing stuff on the side, just to get in that type of shape,” Thomas said. “You get in that type of shape you won’t get tired on the basketball floor. This summer is big for me, transforming my body, getting into the best shape possible and coming back and having another all-star year.”
 
For the Celtics to improve upon this past season, they will need Thomas to continue elevating his play as well as the play of those around him.
 
It is that latter point that was among the many reasons Boston’s season is over. No matter what he did, those around him could not step their game up to a level needed in order to get past the Atlanta Hawks.
 
Chalk it up to another lesson learned for Thomas.
 
“You can’t do it on your own,” Thomas said. “There’s no way you can do it on your own. Nobody can do it on your own; and how hard it is to win playoff games, a playoff series. It’s not easy.”
 
And when you come up short, for Thomas is created an uneasiness that he never wants to experience again.
 
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to not have this feeling again,” he said. “It really hurt me. I’m going to use that as motivation to continue to get better and to work on my flaws and make those into my strengths. I promise you’ll I’ll be back better than ever next year.”
 

Maxwell: Celtics weren’t ready to play at that level

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Maxwell: Celtics weren’t ready to play at that level

Cedric Maxwell joined Arbella Early Edition to analyze the biggest takeaway from the Celtics-Hawks series.

But you also have to wonder if the Celtics could have interest in signing Kent Bazemore or Al Horford, both free agents for the Hawks.