Celtics Hall of Famer Sounds Off on Two-Time NBA Champion

Paul Pierce

Getty Former Boston Celtics players Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett

On the latest episode of “KG Certified,” Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce criticized two-time NBA champion Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers for his lack of availability over the past few years while talking with former Celtics teammate Kevin Garnett.

“We don’t hold Kawhi accountable enough because of him being at the status that he is,” Pierce said. “We mention him in the same breath of LeBron, KD when he’s at his best, but then how we talk about Anthony Davis not being available. We’re going to put Kawhi in that group because think about his last four or five years. He’s missed about two seasons, always out, ain’t really put a lot of games together, but we never talk about that”

Pierce added that he thinks something is physically wrong with Leonard that affects his long-term availability, which is hard because Pierce praised Leonard’s abilities as a basketball player.

“I truly believe that something’s truly not right long-term with Kawhi,” Pierce said. “We don’t say nothing about him always being in street clothes. How much of Kawhi have we seen? We love watching Kawhi. At his peak, he’s one of the best in the league. We want to catch him on the court with this Clipper team. Think about a healthy Clipper team with Kawhi with the talent they got.”

Pierce played for the Clippers from 2015 to 2017 before retiring from the NBA.

Pierce on Brooklyn Drama

Pierce and Garnett also discussed the drama going on with the Brooklyn Nets regarding their coaching situation with Steve Nash.

“The writing was on the wall with Nash getting fired,” Pierce said. “To have this type of talent on your team. To be a first-year coach, it’s a lot of pressure that comes with it, but then, to his credit, think about this. He only got to play with Kyrie and KD, like a full-strength roster, they only played together for 15-16 games, and you getting fired. But at the end of the day, if anybody’s going to be the scapegoat, it’s going to be the coach more than the player.”

Pierce added that Brooklyn’s issues stemmed from what was going on with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

“I think with Brooklyn, it’s just so much distractions around the organization that had nothing to do with basketball,” Pierce said. “When you talk about KD wanting out of there or the things that Kyrie’s dealing with off the court. It’s too many distractions for them to come together so how can they even focus on trying to be a contender? Because when you put two guys of that caliber on a team, you expect expectation, but there’s just too many other things that’s going on for them to be over the top.”

Pierce and Garnett played together for the Nets during the 2013-14 season while playing for a former player-turned-coach, Jason Kidd.

Pierce’s Thoughts on Nets’ Coaching Situation

After Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Nets had fired Nash, Pierce tweeted that Brooklyn’s poor start was what led to Nash’s firing, though he appeared intrigued that former Celtics head coach Ime Udoka was stepping in as Nash’s replacement.