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PIERCE SIGNS THREE-YEAR EXTENSION WITH CELTICS Paul Pierce, the Celtics captain whose prolific but occasionally troubled career put him on the trading blocks last summer, signed a three-year, $59 million contract extension yesterday that would keep him in Boston through the 2010–11 season.
A five-time All-Star, Pierce has played his entire eight-year career with Boston and took over as co-captain in 2000. He averaged a career-high 26.8 points with 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists last seeason, equaling Larry Bird with his fourth straight 2,000-point season. Pierce is the eighth-leading scorer in Celtics history.
“Paul is one of the greatest Celtics in the history of our franchise,” basketball boss Danny Ainge said. “We are very happy to have him under contract for the next five years to lead us in the prime of his career.”
STEWART COULD BE OUT FOR SEASON Shannon Stewart might have played his last game with the Minnesota Twins. With severe pain in his left foot stemming from an aggravation of an earlier injury that prompted a six-week stint on the disabled list, Stewart shook his head when asked yesterday if he thought he could come back this season.
“To be honest, I don’t know,” he said, sitting in a chair in the clubhouse with a big walking boot on the floor in front of his cubicle.”I’ve done everything I can do before, and the doctor is optimistic — thinks I can.The way I feel, I don’t know.”
The 32-year-old Stewart, who sparked the Twins to a come-from-behind AL Central title in 2003 after his All-Star break arrival in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, will be a free agent this fall and in all likelihood won’t be re-signed.
Stewart has had plantar fasciitis problems in both feet over the past three years, limiting him to 92 games in 2004 and only 44 this season.
– Associated Press