Paul Pierce: Keeping It 'Gangsta' In Atlanta

Stephen ZsigaContributor IApril 30, 2008

Paul Pierce was fined $25,000 on Monday by the NBA following his actions in a game three loss to the Atlanta Hawks.  His actions weren't like a lot of others that have been drawing fines throughout this year's playoffs such as flagrant-one, and flagrant-two fouls.  It was much more blatant, yet in a way underground.

Pierce "threw up," or gave the hand-gesture in the direction of the Hawks bench following a timeout, the gang sign of the "bloods."  The NBA clearly saw what had happened, as Pierce was ripped back toward the bench by Brian Scalabrine, and fined him appropriately for what they called a "menacing gesture."

Pierce grew up in Inglewood, CA.  An area where gang-related violence is all but uncommon.  Since being in the NBA, Pierce has even been a target of violence.  In a Theater District night club in 2000, Pierce's second year as a professional, he was stabbed seriously enough to where there was doubt as to whether or not Pierce would survive.

There is no place for this in the NBA.  Especially for an individual with the "role-model" air that surrounds a player like Paul Pierce.  The Celtics finished the regular season with a 66-16 record, and set the NBA record for biggest turnaround for win-loss total in back-to-back seasons.  The Big Three, including Pierce, and newcomers Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, are probably the most feared three-some in the NBA and maybe even in league history the way they have turned the Celtics around.  There may never again be this many eyes, old and young, that are watching Pierce and the Celtics try to win another Championship for the esteemed franchise.  With Pierce flashing the "bloods" sign, young persons draw curiosity.

Pierce, nor the NBA have said much about this entire incident.  Pierce declined to comment on the issue following Tuesday's practice, and the NBA did nothing but fine him for a "menacing gesture."  The NBA especially and/or Pierce, need to come clean with the situation and explain exactly what it was, and not hide it from everyone if it was indeed the gang sign.  The only way for a young person to make an educated decision on what to do in his or her life, is to learn from someone who is in the appropriate authoritative position to help.  The way to make good choices is not from guessing games, asking friends or even worse, street corners and alleyways.