Paul Pierce has the clutch gene.
He also has clutch jeans that he'll wear during pivotal moments of parties and weekly seances, but that's neither here nor there.
Point is, he's clutch, and he wants everyone to know he can't help it, per the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy:
Pierce had that confident lean this morning: "(Being clutch) is in my DNA. There's nothing I can do to let it go."— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) April 22, 2014
If only we were all so lucky.
Just for kicks, though, where would one go if they wished to develop into the clutch-master general Pierce is?
"Everybody don’t have it," Paul Pierce said about being clutch. "Everybody is not born with it. You can’t buy it at Costco or Walgreens."— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) April 22, 2014
Not even Target?
Not even Target.
The Truth's uncurbed swagger is on full display after coming up big late in the Brooklyn Nets' Game 1 victory over the Toronto Raptors. He scored nine points and dished out two assists in the fourth quarter alone and drilled a dagger that nearly broke the Internet.
Such is the benefit of your DNA being steeped in the clutch-iest of clutch-ness. It allows you to claim obscure MVP awards handed out by esteemed Grantland writers:
Paul Pierce is the MVP of making shots that make opposing fans wince thinking about them 5 years later.— netw3rk (@netw3rk) April 19, 2014
It gives you the ability to spurn age and conventional logic, per The Wall Street Journal's Chris Herring:
PAUL PIERCE DOESNT CARE WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT HIS AGE. AGE AIN'T NOTHIN BUT A NUMBER— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) April 19, 2014
It aids in the growth of, um, vegetables, according to Newsday's Rod Boone:
Paul Pierce. #onions— Rod Boone (@rodboone) April 19, 2014
More importantly, it helps you win basketball games.
Pierce is no stranger to hitting big shots when games are on the line. Many New York Knicks fans have drifted off to sleep only to have their dreams turn into nightmares that are haunted by the smug smile that typically washes over Pierce after he hits a contest-altering shot.
But while so many envy his late-game prowess to the point of hatred, there's no denying how useful he can be.
The Nets don't win Game 1 without Pierce stepping up in the fourth quarter, and they won't win their series against the Raptors unless he has similar feats left in him.
As USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt explained while recounting Pierce's Game 1 accolades, he could be the ultimate clutch-shooting playoffs X-factor:
Paul Pierce is old enough to be vintage, and vintage Paul Pierce could be the difference in the series between his Brooklyn Nets and the Toronto Raptors.
Want proof? It showed up in the final minutes of Game 1.
With Toronto trailing by three late in the fourth quarter, Nets center Kevin Garnett set a pick for Pierce who had just enough time to shoot a three-pointer before late-closing Patrick Patterson got there to defend.
This is the time of year Pierce lives for. It's why he was brought to Brooklyn. He isn't with the Nets to be a star for 35-plus minutes. He's with them to win games, to stage late playoff runs, to impose his genetic makeup on opponents when it matters most.
Which team wins Game 2?
So far, so good.
Moving forward, the Nets have to like their chances. They have a 1-0 series lead on the Raptors and the opportunity to push it to 2-0 before heading back to Brooklyn. If that happens, it's difficult to imagine Toronto successfully battling back.
As for the rest of us, we owe Pierce a thank you.
It was downright chivalrous of him to inform us that clutch genes aren't something you can buy or fake. He saved us all a series of fruitless trips to department stores that don't sell what he has and so many others want.