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InsideHoops NBA [HOME] Nov. 5, 2003

Paul Pierce Interview



 editor Jeff Lenchiner met with Boston Celtics superstar Paul Pierce for an exclusive interview. What did you do this summer, on the court as well as off?

Paul Pierce: Man, I just pretty much got some rest this summer. The last couple of years I really didn't take time to get rest. I played in a couple of summer leagues, hung out with my family, and just concentrated on my game. What parts of your game did you work on in particular, if there's any one thing?

Paul Pierce: I try to improve my overall game. I think the most important thing I work on is just my mental approach to every day, my mental approach to the game. How to come in each and every day focused, doing what I want to do, I think that's just the biggest issue. I think I do a lot of things well. It's just about maturing and becoming a smarter player each and every year. Does it anger you when teams bang you around a bit more than they should? It seems to already be happening this season.

Paul Pierce: Not at all, man. I used to play football. It's nothing to me. As for your mental approach, four hours before a game, two hours before, what are you focusing on?

Paul Pierce: I just try to visualize what I'm going to do in a game. Before the game, that's probably my best preparation. You think about the game, what you want to do when you go out there, what's it going to take to get a win out of myself, out of my teammates; it's just the mental preparation I got through before the start of a game. And when you're thinking about stuff before a game, are you more focused on yourself and visualizing yourself doing well, or is it more about who you'll be up against, or a combination? Or what?

Paul Pierce: I probably visualize myself, the shots I'm going to get in the game, how I'm going to play defense, what we have to do to stop the other team's best player, what it's going to take out of me, the whole aspect of the game. I watch the film, and then I just try to visualize what type of things I can get done on the court, pretty much for us to win. With the current flow of the NBA game right now in mind, lets play pretend for a minute... and make you commissioner of the league. Paul Pierce runs the league. Is there any rule or aspect of the NBA game that you would change?

Paul Pierce: [Thinks about it] I would get rid of the three point line. Would you?

Paul Pierce: I think, psychologically, it just... teams want to take a lot of three-pointers. And I would go back to the old days where guys that... force guys to take mid-range jumpers. I think teams would run a lot more, get more fast breaks, and make the game a little more exciting. I mean, you'd probably see more games up in the 100's, like you did back in the day. Yeah, if you watch the flow of the old games, it was more about pushing forward, and if what you suggest did happen, everybody would have to--

Paul Pierce: You re-adjust your game. It would just be re-adjustment. I think you'd see better midrange shooters, higher percentage in the shooting, and probably, teams wouldn't rely just on standing around as much. You see a lot of guys standing around the three-point line, because it's there. And psychologically that's what you're going to do.

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