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Pierce with a C

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  July 31, 2007 08:22 PM

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Paul Pierce is the original All-Star on this Celtics team. He’s also its captain. And after a frustrating few seasons, he looked thrilled to be playing beside Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

“I feel like I’m a rookie again,” said Pierce. “I just think this is a tremendous day.”

Pierce revealed that he lacked motivation last season. During the team’s 18-game losing streak, Pierce said he met with Celtics ownership and voiced his concerns about the direction of the franchise. They assured him he would get help.

“I asked for veterans,” said Pierce. “I didn’t expect to get a seven-time All-Star or a 12-time All-Star. This is a dream come true for me.”

Pierce played with Garnett in a high school tournament 13 years ago, but he has not played with a player of his caliber since. Pierce said ownership now has done everything it can to bring a team to this city that Boston can get excited about. He said they’ve brought the right players in around him to win a title.

Around him. Pierce spoke like he clearly thought of himself as the center of the team. He praised Garnett and Allen for being unselfish, and then went ahead and called himself unselfish. Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, and owner Wyc Grousbeck went out of their way today to stress how much they wanted to keep Pierce during this whole process.

Paul Pierce is the captain of this team, and it doesn’t look like that’s about to change.

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