Pierce: Patience will be key for Rondo

Pierce: Patience will be key for Rondo
March 8, 2014, 12:15 am
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(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON — For most of his career with the Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce was known as the Captain.

It was one of the many nicknames that endeared him to Celtics Nation.

But the title of Captain, especially around these parts, is not to be taken lightly.

And while many would love for the team's captain to be flawless and lead by perfect example all the time, Pierce knows better than most that it doesn't always work that way.

Pierce is now in Brooklyn and the Boston Celtics are now being led by Rajon Rondo who was named the team's captain earlier this season.

Even before the Celtics named Rondo as the 15th different player to serve as a captain, his leadership had been in question.

And his decision to not travel with the team to Sacramento (a game he was already scheduled not to play in) during their last west coast trip and instead stay in Los Angeles (the Celtics had played the Lakers) to attend a birthday party certainly raised a few eyebrows as well as more concerns about his ability to lead.

Pierce knows all too well how that goes.

Despite finishing among the franchise's all-time leaders in just about every meaningful category, his leadership at times was also questioned by some of the decisions he made.

Pierce, who was a co-captain with Antoine Walker (2000-2003) and later a captain by himself (2003-2013), discussed some of his early challenges being a captain of the Boston Celtics.

"Just staying patient," Pierce said. "When you're in the middle of your prime like Rondo is and you're frustrated with the losing, it's about staying patient, staying with the guys, helping them develop, helping them get better."

Rondo's backup Phil Pressey has repeatedly spoke about how Rondo's guidance has made his transition to the NBA much smoother than it would have been without his guidance.

"I owe a lot to him because even when he was out, he's been talking to me, telling me what to do, tell me to hold guys up," Pressey said. "Watching him everyday in practice helps me out in games."

And while players and the organization may not necessarily agree on everything, there has to be a common ground from which both sides work.

"At times it's gonna be frustrating. You have to understand that, the position you're in," Pierce said. "At times, things don't go your way. You want it to be ... you want everything to be better right away. You understand it's a process. Danny Ainge understands it's a process. And they have to be on the same page.

Pierce added, "You're an elite player; you're a franchise player. There's constant communication, what they want from each other. You go from there. You build with each other."