When 37-year-old Paul Pierce joined the Washington Wizards in 2014, he intended on teaching their young players what being a true pro is all about.
Pierce’s impact on the team resulted in a successful run to the second round of the playoffs, as former teammate Bradley Beal discussed what it was like having the veteran around during a recent interview with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles.
(Via Knuckleheads with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles):
“It’s crazy because I couldn’t stand Paul before he got to our team, talked trash, talked crazy. But when he got there, I understood why he did what he did and who he was. He’s riding with who he’s with, he’s riding with the team. He kept that same mentality of first man in the gym, last one out, at year 15, 16, whatever it was when he was with us. To us, it was crazy, like he’s still in here doing his same spin move-step back-pump fake workout routine, like he’s still doing the same thing. To us, we were like, ‘That’s a champion.’ He’s been there, he’s grinded it out, he’s still in the league and he just fed that advice to us.
“John and I were young, we were trying to learn how to lead, how to be a true pro. We can lead by example, but how do we do it vocally? Like how do you pull a teammate to the side and correct him without cussing him out all the time? He was perfect for us. He carried us in the playoffs and made a game winner for us that kept us alive in the series, then almost made the game winner in the next game. It was dope. I’m happy I got to play with a Hall of Famer, you don’t get those opportunities all the time. So, I soaked in a lot from P.”