Pierce: US Basketball Needs Win Worse Than Celtics Did

Boston forward has high hopes for this year's team
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 24, 2008 7:59 PM CDT
Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce calls himself safe after sliding into second base before throwing out a ceremonial first pitch at a Red Sox game.    (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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(Newser) – Now that the Boston Celtics are once again NBA champions, American basketball's next great championship hope falls to the men's Olympic team. "They need it worse than the Celtics needed a championship this year," said Celtics forward Paul Pierce. "The US has been a perennial basketball power and they just need to establish that once again. I think this is the team to do it."

The 30-year-old Pierce, who won the NBA finals MVP after leading the Celtics to their first championship in 22 years, believes the Americans go into next month's Beijing Games having learned from recent failures. Pierce opted not to play in the Beijing Games three years ago but is looking forward to being a spectator. "I'll have fun sitting back and watching it."