KG Dishes on Relationship with Pierce

HOUSTON – The leaders of the Boston Celtics have been Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett ever since KG was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves on July 31, 2007. The Captain and the Big Ticket have grown close over the years, and their relationship continues to blossom in 2013.

Pierce, KG

Kevin Garnett went to bat on Saturday for Paul Pierce, whom KG believes should be with him in Houston.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

“I think that each year that Paul and I continue to be friends and teammates we get closer and closer,” Garnett said on Saturday. “Our families have always been close, and then we have our own immediate families – we’re close. Our relationship has continued to grow. We still view each other as brothers”

For that to be a fact and not a fib is quite a statement to them as people. These are two future Hall of Famers who have put together illustrious careers. Great players can’t always coexist with one another throughout an NBA season, let alone six of them in a row.

Look no further than Kobe Bryant and the Lakers (twice) for evidence of that. The relationships between Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in the early 2000s, and now with Dwight Howard, have been tumultuous. Public sparring between Bryant and those players brought unnecessary drama into several Lakers locker rooms.

If you begin to search for a moment in which Pierce and Garnett went at each other publicly, you’ll probably be searching for the rest of your life. These two have maintained an incredible relationship while keeping all of their feelings behind closed doors.

“We’re very up front with each other,” Garnett said of he and Pierce. “There’s nothing that I can’t say to him, that he can’t say to me. We share a lot of personal things with each other.”

One of the most recent things that Pierce may have shared with Garnett was that Pierce couldn’t believe he didn’t make the All-Star team. Pierce hasn’t gone public with that sentiment, but one would assume that he must have felt slighted after missing the team for the first time in a decade.

Pierce doesn’t need to search hard for supporters. Garnett is standing right at his side. KG believes Pierce should be here in Houston and the East's starting center made that very clear when he went to bat for his closest teammate on Saturday.

“I believe that when you’re deserving of being a great player and you’ve been that throughout you should be rewarded for that,” Garnett stated as he referenced Pierce. “He’s one of the best players in our league, hands down. Obviously we’re getting older and you can compare him to whoever you want, but when it comes down to it, no one hits tougher shots than Paul. No one puts the ball in the basket better than Paul. There’s not too many scorers that do what he does.”

Garnett went on to admit that the league is transitioning to a new era of players, teams and marketing, but he also said, “At the same time, recognize who’s deserving.”

Based on what Pierce has done over the past couple of weeks, no one is more deserving of playing in the All-Star game than he is. He has been playing at an otherworldly level since Rajon Rondo went out of the lineup on Jan. 24. Since that date, Pierce has led the Celtics in assists with 7.6 per game, is tied with Garnett for the team high in scoring with 17.0 points per game, and his 9.4 rebounds per game is slightly behind KG’s average of 10.2.

Pierce has picked up the slack since Rondo went out but that hasn’t surprised Garnett one bit.

“What you’ve got to understand is Paul has led,” Garnett said. “He’s led a team, and since I’ve been here he’s been one of our leaders since Day 1. I think people thought that, obviously when we lost Rondo and our additions, that it was going to be tough, but we have leaders that have led before. We have leaders that have carried the offense before.”

In other words, the Celtics have Garnett and Pierce, the two future Hall of Famers who have banded together as brothers for six seasons and counting.