With 17 NBA Championships, the Boston Celtics are a franchise defined by their rich history of success.
And while winning is a part of their culture, it doesn't mean they haven't experienced some major rebuilds.
Back in 2003, the Celtics went and hired Danny Ainge as GM. Today, he is easily known as one of the best front-office executives in basketball history. Back then, there were many questions and doubts about his plans, which only intensified when he proceeded to trade most of the roster.
In a chat with the media (during the Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony), Celtics legend Paul Pierce explained that he was bracing himself to be moved at the time as well, fully believing he'd be part of Danny Ainge's rebuild project.
Instead, they stuck with him, a decision that neither Pierce nor the Celtics have come to regret.
“I honestly thought Danny was going to trade me,” Pierce said, via Mass Live. “He came in and traded everybody. He traded Antoine and I was like, ‘Man, it’s over for me.’ But y’all stuck with me.
We went through some tough times and I appreciate you,” Pierce said. “It took 10 years for you to bring (Garnett) around. I told y’all in 2006 that if we get him, we’re going to win it. True story. We had arguments on if I was going to go to Minnesota or if he was going to the Celtics. It all worked out.”
In the end, it's hard not to call Pierce's time with the Celtics a huge success. While they only won one Championship, the moments and memories The Truth had in a Celtics jersey were truly special and will never be forgotten.
Had they traded him in 2003, like Paul thought would happen, who knows how things would have ended up.