Trans. Oct 24 8:13 ET (Oct 24 8:13 ET ) Later this month, Paul Pierce will play his first game as a member of the Washington Wizards, which is nearly as weird as what he did 12 months ago, when he played his first game as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. His former teammate in Brooklyn and Boston, Kevin Garnett, still plays in Brooklyn, still working in a Nets uniform that looks as weird on him now as the Celtics uniform that looked super-weird on him in 2007 after KG donned it following 12 seasons in a Minnesota Timberwolves uniform. Kevin Love, meanwhile, will sport a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform this season after half as many seasons as Garnett played in a Wolves uni, working alongside LeBron James in a Cavaliers uniform that almost immediately makes his four-year run in a Miami Heat uniform look truly weird. Weirdness abounds, as longtime stars jump from one team to another, especially as stalwarts like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki stick to the same team for the duration of their careers. That’s just how this league works, it’s how it’s always worked, and Paul Pierce wouldn’t mind it continuing to work that way. Via Pro Basketball Talk , here is an interview Pierce recently gave with the Associated Press: This is in no way a dig at Paul Pierce, who has enjoyed a fantastic, Hall of Fame career, but he is in a tier of star just below the Kobe/Tim/Dirk triptych mentioned above. Pierce was nearly traded from the Celtics once things went sour in Boston during the middle of the last decade, and Pierce’s most closest contemporary – Vince Carter – is about to suit up for his sixth NBA team this season. Seventh, if you count the draft night trade that sent Carter from Golden State to Toronto. Most notably, Michael Jordan ended his career in a Wizards uniform. Oscar Robertson was dealt late in his career in a move that would be widely derided by cranks in the modern era as he attempted to chase a ring with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Milwaukee. Wilt Chamberlain was traded twice in his career and he would have ended his time as a player with an ABA team in San Diego had the courts not gotten in the way. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson never switched jerseys, but Moses Malone and Shaquille O’Neal combined to wear sixteen different pro uniforms over the course of their lengthy careers. Boston Celtics fans, as they gear up for yet another losing season, would love to see Paul Pierce back in a Celtics uniform, but in their hearts they know they don’t want Pierce taking minutes and shots away from developing youngsters, and they don’t mind their old hero attempting to play deep into the postseason once again for a potentially potent Washington Wizards squad. Both the Boston front office and Pierce’s own anxious feet feel the same. It’s a win-win. Before we laud Bryant, Duncan and Nowitzki for their commitment to their longtime teams (Bryant and Dirk were both drafted by other franchises and traded soon after), things could have turned out different for that trio. Kobe visited the Clippers and Bulls as a free agent even after he forced the Shaquille O’Neal move to Miami in 2004, and he very publicly demanded a trade in 2007. Tim Duncan was very close to signing with the Orlando Magic in the summer of 2000, and while Nowitzki never had much reason to leave Dallas, his onetime running partner Steve Nash left the Mavs in 2004 to play for a crummier team, only because they offered him more money. Players move. Superstar players move, even, and the teams they leave are sometimes (if not “often”) just fine with them moving. There’s a reason these guys get away, there’s a reason why Boston and Brooklyn passed on retaining Paul Pierce, and smart hometown fans understand this. It’s not a question of loyalty, because it is the team that would usually dump the player in a second if given the chance. It’s not a question of nouveau ethics, either, because these sorts of moves have been going on for decades. It’s how pro basketball works, and Paul Pierce is completely correct in his estimation that this is and will always be a good thing. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
Tim Duncan returned to action after getting some rest and played just 13 minutes on Wednesday.
The Scoop:He had six points, seven rebounds and a block, but the Spurs are simply trying to get him to the regular season healthy. And once that happens, they'll change their focus on getting him to the postseason healthy. And that could mean a handful of unexpected DNPs. Brace yourself for them if you draft Timmy D.
The Scoop:This is standard preseason Popovich, and Duncan is simply being given the night off. Kawhi has already been ruled out for the rest of preseason, Splitter is recovering from a calf injury and remains without a return date, and Mills will be out until at least January. Duncan was able to make it though 74 games last season while averaging 15.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game over 29 minutes of action, and it's a marvel he can be this effective this late in his career. He's worth a fourth-round selection in standard leagues.
The Scoop:Only Patty Mills has a serious injury and there is nothing wrong with Tim Duncan, as far as we know. He's found the fountain of youth so far and played 34.0 minutes per game in two preseason outings.