WARNING: THIS IS A PERSONAL POST, NOT REALLY A SPORTS ONE. BUT IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ME A LITTLE BETTER… THEN MAYBE KEEP READING.
I have been known to be a bit dramatic (shock, horror). But I am not kidding when I say that when I heard that Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers had been traded from the Boston Celtics to the Nets I felt like I lost all the meaning in my life.
Paul Pierce was (see that? WAS not IS) my favourite player for three reasons. One: he was a one club player – which is rare in the US, and rarer, still, in the NBA. Two: He led my Boston Celtics to the Championship in 2008 – the first year I lived in Massachusetts. Three: He was the reason I got into sport.
Now, I know that a lot of people don’t believe in fate and destiny, but humor me for a bit.
Where I was raised (Hawaii) we don’t have a professional sports team so people support whoever they happen to like (usually who their parents or brothers like) and we wear a bunch of different sport jerseys (my senior year of high school I had Boston Celtics, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Antonio Spurs Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Philadelphia Eagles, and UNC jerseys).
But before this jersey collection amasses… I liked a boy. And he wore a Paul Pierce jersey. A LOT. I wanted something to talk to him about, so I started Googling Paul Pierce. I started watching Celtics games.
When I was applying to college, on a whim, I applied to Smith College (all the other colleges I applied to were selected because of the nearby sports teams) and when I got in, I said yes because I loved the Celtics. Watching basketball made me a select few friends (Smith is much, MUCH more about academia than sport) and I started to watch more sports – football, baseball, hockey. We ended up taking a sports economics class together. That professor ended up as one of my favourite professors and is my role model – I would love to have his job one day.
Then, in Australia, sport is what me and my boyfriend bond over – it’s our thing. And through much self-reflection, I’ve realized that sport is where I want to be – it’s what I want to do.
Now, I’m not so naive to think that Paul Pierce actually changed my life… but I’ve always joked about how he was the one that started it all and, to be honest, I’m not so sure I would have ended up where I am if I hadn’t been so obsessed with that Paul Pierce jersey when I was 16. He was the spark that ignited the fire and it’s hard to think that something I’ve thought of as constant and reliable is no longer there.
Maybe am just being dramatic… but still. I wanted Pierce to retire from the Celtics. I wanted them to retire his number and I wanted him in the Hall of Fame and I wanted to say that I had been there to see it. But now… well, I’m not sure I feel that way any more.
I feel let down.