Image of Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce Won’t Just Have One Role

Rowan Kavner

LOS ANGELES – Head coach Doc Rivers knows defining a specific role for Paul Pierce this season can be complicated.

Pierce has a knack for coming up in the clutch, and Rivers wants that. Pierce also won an NBA title, and Rivers wants Pierce’s mentorship on a team looking to win its first championship. When asked on “The Dan Patrick Show” what Pierce’s role will be, Rivers said he wants everything.

“As a player, you know he’s going to take big shots and make a lot of them,” Rivers said. “The thing I love about him is he’s never been scared to take them. It’s great to have another guy on your team willing to do that.”

He also said Pierce understands team-building. Rivers would know, considering he coached Pierce for nine seasons in Boston. Pierce made his team-building talents known to Clippers fans immediately, as he played a role in the final meeting in Houston with DeAndre Jordan, helping the Clippers keep the star center.

Rivers said Pierce saw the importance of team-building firsthand when Boston’s “Big Three” was assembled.

“That team won it in the first year,” Rivers said. “It took a lot of team-building to do that, a lot of sacrifice of shots, of egos. I think Paul has seen that. He knows what worked, and I think that’ll really help our team.”

There’s no doubting what “The Truth” can bring from a clutch standpoint. Throughout his career, taking and making big shots has never been a problem.

To name a couple, he put the Celtics up four points with a 3-pointer over the outstretched arm of LeBron James in Game 5 of the Conference Finals in 2012 with less than a minute left to help Boston pull out that game. Just last season with the Wizards, he hit a game-winning buzzer-beater in Game 3 of the conference semifinals to take a 2-1 lead on the Hawks.

Pierce wrote in an article for “The Players’ Tribune” the game-winning shot that stands out most to him occurred during the 2010 regular season, as he helped beat the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. There are plenty to choose from, and that ability to consistently knock down shots when they’re needed most would help any team.

Rivers said from a coaching standpoint, it’s easy to find the guys who have the “it” factor and crave the ball in the final moments of a game. He said when the cameras show a huddle and a coach starting to draw up a play, the players looking at the coach “eye-to-eye” are the ones who want the ball.

“You can see it,” Rivers said to Patrick. “I’ve been on teams where I go in that huddle, and I always do it, I always look up to see, especially to the key guys, who’s staring at you. I’ve been in huddles where everyone is staring down. You’re thinking, ‘Oh boy, this play’s not going to work.’”

He said he’s also been in huddles as a coach where the worst player, or the player he doesn’t want to give the ball to, is one of the only one’s staring up at him.

“You’re thinking, ‘Well, that’s not going to work either,” Rivers joked.

The Clippers’ head coach said he’s also had a situation where a player asked him for the ball, didn’t get it, watched a teammate miss and stared at Rivers all the way off the floor.

Luckily for Rivers, he has a player in Pierce he knows would want the ball. And if his history is any indication, he’d likely take and make the shot as well.

Related Content


  • Facebook
  • Twitter