By JEN MURPHY
Paul Pierce knows determination. He didn’t start playing basketball until he was 12 years old. While he was cut from his high school varsity basketball team his freshman year, he later became the star of the team his junior and senior years. He went on to play for the University of Kansas, entering the NBA draft after his junior year and was the 10th overall pick by the Boston Celtics in 1998.
It would take 10 years playing for the Celtics before he won an NBA championship. Some players might slow down after a title win; Mr. Pierce, the team’s 33-year-old captain, started training even harder. “I enjoyed my moment, but then I realized I needed to be committed to my training all year if I wanted another title,” he says. “It’s easier to lose fitness when you get older.”
He sticks to a strict training regimen even amid the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Miami Heat.
Mr. Pierce is sometimes known for a fiery temperament on the basketball court. “I play with a lot of emotion,” he says. “It’s up and down depending on how I’m playing, how the team is playing, the calls that are being made.” Off the court, Mr. Pierce tends to be more laid back and devotes a portion of his time to charities.
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