Should Paul Pierce go No. 1 in an all-time Boston Celtics Draft?

Gary Washburn joined Bob Ryan and Jeff Goodman to defend his controversial draft selection in the Boston Globe's fantasy draft.

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Paul Pierce boasted one of the greatest careers in Boston Celtics history before his 2017 retirement with the team. Since then, he’s taken his handful of losses: on social media, on the air with his predictions and in a quarantine HORSE showcase from his backyard court.

Gary Washburn then delivered him a post-career accolade on par with his NBA Finals MVP trophy. The Boston Globe held an all-time Celtics draft and Washburn, with the paper since 2009, selected him with the first overall pick. Backlash ensued from ardent Bill Russell and Larry Bird supporters, so Washburn joined Bob Ryan and Jeff Goodman’s CLNS Media podcast to defend his selection.

Gary Washburn shook the Celtics world in the Boston Globe last week by picking Paul Pierce No. 1 overall in the staff's draft of an all-time Celtics team. The Globe's writers each built their own all-time rosters, with Washburn receiving No. 1 and going on to round out his lineup with Jayson Tatum, Isaiah Thomas, Kendrick Perkins and Dennis Johnson. Critics immediately blasted Washburn, but he pointed out his perception of the draft as a fantasy draft, where Pierce's prowess across all the stat categories could prevail. Are you buying it?

“It’s a fantasy draft,” Washburn said. “I put up the player, who’s going to put up the numbers, who has a transcendent game, who would’ve been able to play in the 50s, 60s and 70s, because of his size, his girth, his mid-range game. It’s not the greatest Celtic of all-time.”

Pierce ranked second in points, first in three-pointers and seventh in rebounds in Celtics history. Washburn argued that he could fill up all the stat categories in any era more than any other Celtic across all eras. Larry Bird, he said, would be the only other one in the conversation.

Bob Ryan explains his five picks in the Boston Globe's all-time Boston Celtics draft after Gary Washburn explained his picks (https://youtu.be/zS2EUJJH-As). Should Dave Cowens have been the centerpiece of his roster, or should more modern choices have gotten the nod like Washburn's controversial Paul Pierce selection? The CLNS Media Network is the leading provider for video/audio content. CLNS is a fully credentialed member of the media with access to all NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB teams & venues.———————————————————————————VISIT US AT https://clnsmedia.comFor CLNS Media Production Studio, go to http://youtube.com/clnsmediaFollow CLNS Media on Twitter – @CLNSMediaFollow CLNS Media on Facebook – http://facebook.com/clnsmediaFollow CLNS Media on INSTA – http://Instagram.com/clnsmediaDownload the FREE CLNS Media mobile app for iOS & GooglePlay

“I wish people would stop saying I think Pierce is a better player than Bill Russell,” Washburn said. “Fantasy-wise? Yes. You would choose Peyton Manning over Brady, because Peyton puts up more numbers. Brady’s a better winner.”

Adam Himmelsbach did not state explicitly in his article that the draft hinged on fantasy performance. Washburn selected Pierce, Jayson Tatum (9), Dennis Johnson (11), Isaiah Thomas (20) and Kendrick Perkins (21) with his first five selections. Bob Ryan, who picked strictly for winning, took Dave Cowens (5), Kevin McHale (6), Tiny Archibald (15), Sam Jones (16) and Jaylen Brown (25).

Danny Ainge, in rating the teams, picked Ryan (4th) and Washburn (5th) last behind Dan Schaunessy, Chad Finn and Himmelsbach.

“We’re having a tournament,” Ryan said. “I’m trying to win. We approached it two different ways.”

Ryan said the reaction to picking John Havlicek would not have reached the level of confusion Washburn received for Pierce. The Celtics Mt. Rushmore is clearly Russell, Bird, Havlicek and Bob Cousy. Pierce and Kevin McHale sit just outside.

Gary Washburn remembers Kyrie Irving's tumultuous Celtics tenure. The Boston Globe writer didn't find Irving particularly difficult, but knew that something held him back from being happy. His revisionist history of how he reacted to winning a title with the Cavaliers and mood swings with the Celtics served as evidence of a player wanting something more than the gifts bestowed on him. Jeff Goodman, Bob Ryan and Washburn discussed the ex-Celtics' continued status as an enigma. The CLNS Media Network is the leading provider for video/audio content. CLNS is a fully credentialed member of the media with access to all NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB teams & venues.———————————————————————————VISIT US AT https://clnsmedia.comFor CLNS Media Production Studio, go to http://youtube.com/clnsmediaFollow CLNS Media on Twitter – @CLNSMediaFollow CLNS Media on Facebook – http://facebook.com/clnsmediaFollow CLNS Media on INSTA – http://Instagram.com/clnsmediaDownload the FREE CLNS Media mobile app for iOS & GooglePlay

The cast also discussed Kyrie Irving’s Celtics tenure and what they remember about his time with the team and where his career projects to go. Washburn never had any issues with him, but found him unhappy and swaying between emotions. A source once told him there are five different Irvings.

“I’m not denying these arguments,” Washburn said. “But like I told Schaunessy, it’s like I took John Bagley first. I took the franchise’s second-leading scorer and I’m getting you don’t know basketball.”