BOSTON – The inconsistent play, frustrating losses, and losing - lots of losing.
Paul Pierce, who spent more than a decade as the face of the Boston Celtics franchise, knows all too well how difficult being part of a team that's rebuilding can be.
"I try to forget those days," Pierce said after Boston's 91-84 win over his new team, the Brooklyn Nets. "Those are trying days. Those are days you try to forget, but you grow from there."
And while he isn't involved with the Celtics on a daily basis anymore, he envisions his former team getting much better sooner rather than later.
"They're a young team," Pierce said. "They got a mix of some veterans, some young guys developing. They're only going to get better."
And a significant part of that improvement in Pierce's eyes, is point guard Rajon Rondo.
Rondo continues to look more and more like the four time All-Star that he is, and not the player on the mend from a torn right ACL injury in January of last year.
On Friday, he had a team-high 20 points to go with nine assists and seven rebounds.
"Rondo is ready to lead," Pierce said. "He's leading them right now, moving them into the next generation of Celtics. Their future is going to be very bright."
But in order to fully appreciate what awaits them at the end of the journey, first they must navigate a path that, for now, will be difficult when it comes to winning games.
Seeing the big picture when he was a young player in Boston wasn't easy for Pierce who admits Rondo's better prepared for what lies ahead than he was.
"Rondo understands," said Pierce, adding "He understands a little more than I did at the time. When I first got here (in Boston), I was in rebuild mode, made the playoffs and went back to rebuild mode. Same with him (Rondo). He came in, we were rebuilding. We went through a phase where we were winning. Now he's back in rebuild mode, but he's still young enough to see it out to still be in his prime. I know the Celtics are going to do whatever it takes, to get back to that top level again."