|Pierce Needs To Be Careful Next
Time He Puts His Fingers On His Bird
Those are the ominous words tweeted by Paul Pierce after the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat twice to start their 2010-2011 season. I smelled trouble. People jumped right on the hate wagon and thought it was ‘so hilarious.’ I could not understand for the life of me why Paul Pierce wanted to start a feud with the best player alive or why he chose open and dis-respectful mocking to publicly fire shots at Lebron.
Not just a shot at Lebron. Also an indirect hit on the SS Wade as their team had been dealing with intense hate all summer. Did he forget that Wade is arguably the second best player alive: the same rules apply? The mud slung in the Heat’s general direction from fans and the media was unprecedented. And Pierce wanted to join in? I have a few questions I’d like to ask…
Why kick a fellow player who’s down? Every word of Lebron’s was being dissected under a media scalpel, a knife Pierce knows well. There’s a code most players seem to follow (and/or should follow) that stipulates NBA players and media members are on opposite teams. You shouldn’t join in with your opponent to attack one of your own.
|How Do You Gut Punch A Man Like This?
He Has A Car Bed
Therein lies the irony. Pierce is all too familiar with negative press. Years at the helm of a laughing stock in Boston put him on the receiving end of scorn, blame and shame. Pierce isn’t better then Lebron either. He demanded a trade that got pre-empted by the arrival of Ray Allen and KG. The difference was the Cavs had destroyed their cap and lacked assets, could not right the ship and lost their star player.
So little class. A stomach punch in the midst of the messiest sports divorce in history… while smugly happily married after years on the rocks? Lebron was emotionally down so Pierce pushed his face in the dirt. My father taught me at a young age, mocking others hardship is classless.
That’s the court of human decency. This is not Dr. Phil. So lets examine this on the court of hoop.
Did Pierce Believe He Was In Their Heads?
Why in Red’s name would you want to take a cheap shot like this at the best player in the world? Someone who is by all counts flat out better at the game then you are. Why take a cheap shot at the second best player in the world and best friend on his team? Not even to mention, take a cheap shot at one of the best power forwards in the league who’s also on that team.
Wade/James have a history of their seasons ending to a massively stacked Celtics team. It’s been amplified by a massive fall from grace. Both James and Wade were media darlings. James especially had become a media villain. The fuel has been set all around these two teams. Why give Lebron a match? Why go out of your way to provide extra motivation to a guy who’s so damn good and has so much to prove? It’s like teasing a ravenous dog with a pork chop.
They had the talent to beat Miami. They didn’t have the right attitude. Lebron had the right attitude though, and he used it to eviscerate them out of the series in 5 games. Over-confidence in your own ability, and not respecting your opponent is always a recipe for disaster. It makes arrogance pie. If Pierce really did think he was in their heads, it back fired in the grandest of fashion.
Did The Britches Fit?
|The FMVP Tropy: Something Else That Didn’t Fit|
Take a look at those first two games. Was this over-confidence justified? Did Pierce put on a spectacular show? He was mostly a spot up shooter and that had a lot to do with Lebron’s smothering D.
In game 1, of his 4 makes, 3 were 3 pointers. Rondo dominated with 17 dimes and Ray Allen went 5/8 from 3. Game 2 was very much a repeat. Pierce scored 6 more points. Pierce was still totally unable to prevent Lebron from a 35 point triple double (-1 dime) and BBQing the Celtics 20 point lead on a 4′th quarter spit for the second time.
Despite the Celtics being up 20 points for the vast majority of both games, Bosh playing terribly, Wade playing hurt and being invisible, despite all these things the Heat were down by a mere basket with less then a minute left. Twice. Lebron took over, he had an answer for Rondo and slowed him down. The Celtics had no answer for James. So why when you were lucky to hang on twice would you want to slap a guy like that in the face once?
Did The Tweet Cost The Celtics?
|Close To PP: Consider This
Motivational Gift For Next Season
People talk about the Perkins trade as being the turning point in the Celtics season… perhaps their last chance to win another championship. I don’t think this is true. No one will talk about it, but it was the tweet. Not merely 140 charterers but everything each letter represented in their approach to this season and the new look Heat.
Upon reading Pierce’s tweet I thought the Celtics were in trouble. In sports you can often see story arcs taking off long before they gain altitude. What goes up, must come down, and Paul Pierce threw his blatant mockery as high as he could for the world to see. While he was looking up at it, he participated in a 7 game series with the Heat, and it landed right back in his face at the end of game 5.
The true turning point came long before the trade deadline. It came after game 9 of 82. Pierce thought he could make some headlines at Lebron’s expense and took a cheap shot. Instead of a few laughs, he made it personal and lacked the talent to compete on that level. Mid-thirties post-prime players should all learn not to make it personal with guys in their prime.
I’m sure Pierce soon forgot about it as he moved on to Memphis. I can assure you, Lebron did not forget. I’m sure he thought about it repeatedly while practising his jumpers and lifting weights. Something in me knew the Celtics weren’t going to win when I read the missive. I would not be surprised if the tweet is taped to a mirror in the Heat locker room. Realistically, I’d be surprised if it’s not. And that’s The Truth.