Paul Pierce criticizes LaMarcus Aldridge for his effort in Playoffs
Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce has been a common guest on NBA-related TV programming since he announced his retirement. Pierce has appeared on multiple occasions on Inside The NBA’s Area 21, hosted by his former teammate Kevin Garnett, as well as ESPN’s The Jump.
One of the most recent topics discussed by Pierce was concerning former All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs‘ big man has been mentioned in numerous trade rumors over the last few days, including being reportedly offered in exchange for a top-five selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. While no deal came to fruition, the chatter has continued to center around his unhappiness in San Antonio.
That said, Pierce weighed in on the discussion by essentially stating that Aldridge possesses no trade value in his eyes:
“I would not trade LaMarcus Aldridge for me.” said Pierce. “If I was still playing and San Antonio said ‘we’ll give you LaMarcus Aldridge for Paul Pierce’ I’m turning that down if I’m Doc (Rivers). We had so many expectations for him and Kawhi (Leonard), Tony Parker, (Manu) Ginobili and what I saw from him in the playoffs was a player that was not excited to play and did not give his all.”
Pierce continued, stating that he loved Aldridge when he was with the Portland Trail Blazers, even going to the extent to voice that he believed he was the best power forward in the league. However, the 39-year-old assessed that Aldridge seems to have lost his excitement for the game.
In his first year with the team, Aldridge earned an All-Star nod, but the Spurs lost in the second round of the playoffs. This past season, he experienced less personal success, but the team reached the Western Conference Finals before being swept by the Golden State Warriors.
Aldridge was largely a non-factor in the series, averaging 15.5 points on 41.3 percent shooting from the field. In fact, his number for the entire postseason were discouraging, averaging 16.5 points on 45.8 percent shooting.
Ultimately, Pierce’s point lies with that fact that much more was expected from an All-Star caliber player that put up 20-plus points per game during his stint in Portland.