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Celtics Morning Joe: Larry Bird Praises Pierce, Garnett along with Ainge

Posted on July 9, 2013 at 5:00 AM

Bird luckily retired as a Celtic. He never put on any other NBA uniform. Danny was able to make Pierce and KG happy by sending them to a team that has a chance to win now, and Doc also. Ainge in the process put the Celtics in a good spot for the future, and in the now. 

Bird thinks KG and Pierce have plenty in the tank. If the Nets can get the same production out of KG and Pierce this coming season that we got in 2013. Then they can threaten the Heat without question.

"I think they've both been pretty healthy throughout their careers," Bird said Monday while speaking to reporters following the Indiana Pacers' Orlando Summer League game. "They haven't had the major, major injuries that I had.

"I think they got plenty left. The way they will be coached and the bench that they have -- yeah -- they'll pick their spots. But when the time comes, they'll be there."

Pierce and Garnett were dealt to Brooklyn in a blockbuster trade last month, signalling Boston's intention to rebuild with younger players.

Bird, one of the greatest players in Celtics history, currently serves as the Pacers' president of basketball operations. The Hall of Famer acknowledged that it will be difficult to see Pierce, the second-leading scorer in Celtics franchise history, finish his career somewhere other than Boston.

"I would have loved to see it," Bird said. "I got a lot of respect for Paul and what he has accomplished. But who says he's not going to play another four years? It's a tough situation."

"It was tough. I knew I was on my way out," Bird said. "I was going to leave a few years earlier but Celtics CEO (1990-1994) Dave Gavitt talked me into staying. It was tough. There was always talk of whether Red should have traded us early, but there was some loyalty in that organization and they decided to keep us."

But loyalty to players these days is trumped by loyalty to ownership and the fans.

"You always have to look out for the franchise," Bird said. "You always do."

That's why for Bird, it's a bittersweet time right now, knowing that a fellow Celtics legend will be playing for someone other than the C's.

"I have a lot of respect for Paul and what he accomplished there," Bird said. "It's a tough situation."

Especially when most believe that both still have enough in the tank to where they can help a playoff contender like the Brooklyn Nets.

"It's hard for me to tell because I know they both played more minutes than I ever played, but they've both been pretty healthy throughout their careers," Bird said. "They haven't had the major injuries that I had throughout my career. I think they have plenty left. The way they'll be coached and the bench that they have, they'll pick their spots but when the time comes they'll be there."

Categories: Celtics Morning Joe

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Reply paul
06:32 AM on July 09, 2013 
They will
Reply Greg
09:57 AM on July 09, 2013 
The Heat have staid the same so far,,no big moves. A year older,and the Nets have improved,Pacers have as well. Will see.
Reply paul
10:39 AM on July 09, 2013 
KG and Pierce may hit the wall, though.