Old man Paul Pierce still getting it done in historic fashion
#34's last 14 seasons put him on a very short list.
In the win over Atlanta on Friday night, Paul Pierce posted his 3rd triple double (20-10-10) since Rajon Rondo's season ending injury. He's the only player in the NBA with 3 in that time span (LeBron has 2). Last night in New York Pierce led the undermanned C's with 5 assists, put up 24 points, and also grabbed a ridiculous 15 rebounds, which tied for the second highest output of his career (Pierce had 19 boards on opening night of the 2006-2007 season against the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets; yes the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, remember that?). He also moved into 5th place on the league's all-time three point field goals list yesterday with 1,814, passing Chauncey Billups.
The fact that he's still doing stuff like this in his 15th season is absolutely amazing. Pierce is averaging 18.8 points per game this year, an incredible feat when you consider how long he's be doing it for. In her ESPN Boston column today, Jackie MacMullan noted the remarkable consistency and longevity of Pierce's career, sharing a quote from Doc Rivers:
Going on 15 seasons now, he's averaged 18 points a game (or more) every year.
"You realize that only five guys in the history of the game have done that, right?" Rivers said. "Look up the guys that have done it, and I guarantee you will say, 'Wow.'"
As usual, Doc is right. Upon further examination, Pierce is indeed among elite company. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other players who have averaged 18 points a game or more for as many consecutive seasons as Pierce are Karl Malone (17 straight seasons), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (16), Kobe Bryant (15), Hakeem Olajuwon (14) and Shaquille O'Neal (14).
I think Jackie meant to say "going on 14 seasons now" (Pierce averaged 16.5 PPG in his rookie campaign), but regardless that is some very impressive company for the C's captain.