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."

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
 
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
 
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
 
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
 
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
 
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
 
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
 
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
 
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
 
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
 
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
 
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
 
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
 
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.  

WATCH: Celtics vs. Pistons

WATCH: Celtics vs. Pistons

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