Chris Broussard reported Wednesday that Boston hero Paul Pierce made a bet with a fan prior to the Beantown loss to the Cavaliers on Friday. The wager, five hundred dollars, was that Paul Pierce would put up the same amount, or more points than the man-beast, Lebron James.
The stat sheet of that game read Lebron, 38 points, Pierce 11. Lebron more than tripled Pierce’s individual score and left him shaken up on the defensive end.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a Paul Pierce fan, a bigger Kevin Garnett fan and a huge Boston Celtics fan. I will admit that this is Paul Pierce’s team, but I cringe every time he makes lofty claims about his “superior talent” because more times than not, he cannot always back it up.
Every kid on the playground knows the old manly rule: “if you talk the talk, then you have to walk the walk.” Ironically, “the truth” cannot always do that.
Pierce’s ego was once again let loose after the Celtics finished off the Lakers in the finals this past summer. Pierce had the audacity to claim that he was a better baller than Kobe Bryant. Luckily, the interview was with a Spanish reporter and hence did not get too much publicity.
Now, I am a Shaq fan and hence tend to critique Kobe rather harshly, but Pierce’s statement was purely blasphemous. Kobe is the best basketball player on the planet. Period.
Perhaps it’s the support that he gets from the big ticket (Kevin Garnett) and Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen). In a recent post-game interview, KG referred to Pierce as “superman” and sang out the theme song that Clarke Kent listens to as he dishevels his blue-collar suit to strap on his red underwear-blue spandex-cape flowing superman garb.
But wait a minute, wasn’t Shaq the original superman? And didn’t Dwight Howard solidify his presence as superman after his jaw-dropping dunk repertoire at New Orleans? Sometimes I think that Pierce might think he is better than he actually is.
Pierce has defined himself as an all-star and a triple-threat talent. But he is often overshadowed by other forwards throughout the league. Averaging 19.4 points a game, Danny Granger, Caron Butler, Chris Bosh, and Lebron James all average more than the truth. This is on the East-coast and at the same position, I don’t even want to start with the Anthony's, Duncan's, Stoudemire's, or Nowitzki’s numbers.
Pierce will find himself competing for playing time off the bench in the All-star game, as KG and Lebron will bag the starting forward spots again. At last year’s game, he had the third least playing time on both rosters, even Ray Allen got more playing time.
So why does he keep making ridiculous comparisons with players like Lebron and Kobe?
I don’t know, but as a Celtics fan, it does tend to bother me. Lebron and Kobe are a class higher than Pierce. I love how Pierce can take over a game, shoot the three, drive the lane (in slow motion but still make it look smooth and count), and consistently stroke his beloved jump shot from the window.
But then again, he did all that without KG and Ray Allen and never had half the success that Kobe or Lebron had. At the end of the day, without the three amigos in Boston, the T-wolves, Bucks, and Celtics would have struggled to make the playoffs while the Lakers and Cavs would still be contenders.
So Mr. truth, let's quit with the individual comparisons and the boastful claims. The C’s are great because they play team ball on both ends of the court. It’s working, and as the whole NBA community held its collective breath last offseason to see how the chemistry would work, we were all shocked to see that it did. And amazingly well at that.
Let’s keep it that way and let the Lebron’s and the Kobe's run their franchises the way they do so well. Let’s leave our focus on that championship repeat starting with tonight's match up with the Suns.