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Paul Pierce says star-studded Celtics must sacrifice if they want to win championship this season

Alex Reimer
August 13, 2018 - 1:21 pm

The 2008 Celtics rode Ubuntu all the way to a championship. Paul Pierce, the captain of that team, says this year’s star-studded squad will have to be similarly selfless. 

At a public appearance in Brookline Friday, Pierce talked about how the Celtics must bypass personal achievements in order to mesh as a team.

“You have to sacrifice if you are truly committed to trying to win a championship,” he said, per Boston.com. “They’re going to win a lot of games, but unless they sacrifice — because we know they’re going to be better than probably what their numbers show — if they can sacrifice they’ll win a championship this year. Because the talent is definitely there.”

The biggest potential obstacle to that is Kyrie Irving, who’s due to become a free agent at the end of next season. But Pierce says he doesn’t foresee Irving chasing a contract above an NBA title.

“Kyrie is a competitor,” Pierce explained. “He’s won a championship. He knows — if they win again he’ll get whatever contract he wants. He’s an extraordinary talent and he knows that winning trumps everything. If you win, everybody wins.”

The Celtics took the Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals without Irving and Gordon Hayward. With those two added to the mix –– there are no significant losses from last season -– Boston is the clear-cut favorite right now in the East. 

According to Pierce, they’ll have to check their egos if they want to fulfill their potential.