There is little similarity between Richard Wright’s character "Bigger" in Native Son and Paul Pierce.
The only similarity is that they both came from impoverished environments to rub elbows with the rich. Bigger ends up on the wrong side of the law; and Pierce was stabbed from someone on the wrong side of the law.
On Thursday the native son returns to the place of his birth to try and beat the team that he idolized as a youngster. He did it before in 2008, but this is different —this will make him the best player in L.A.
Bryant will forever be considered the better player in the NBA, but Paul has the bragging rights because he beat Kobe in the head-to-head match-up.
This is what drives him. This is what he feels he was born to do —win championships, and Bryant is in the way.
I am sure Kobe has the same opinion that Pierce is an obstacle. Bryant and Pierce both loved the Lakers growing up.
Bryant got traded to the team of his dreams; Pierce saw his stock plummet as well as suffering the indignation of being drafted by the Boston Celtics, his childhood nemesis.
Both are the catalyst that will drive this rivalry, forget about Celtics vs. Lakers, fans today do not understand the cantankerous battles that the Lakers and the Celtics from the 1980's and prior bore for each other.
This time it will not just be for bragging rights as the most decorated team.
For the Lakers, "the Black Mamba" Kobe Bryant, is a singular force that wriggles his way into making the most difficult shot. It is not easy to contain his offensive onslaughts and when he is on his team almost always wins.
The issue with his obvious skills is that he has to be the high scorer for the Lakers to win.
The Lakers come and go as Kobe goes; there is no other alpha dog in this bunch who can match his intensity. The rest of his teammates do not provide the support necessary to allow him to rest.
Pierce has been through the highs and lows of bringing the Celtics back into relevance.
After a 22-year absence he led this organization to a championship against its historic rival, the Los Angeles Lakers.
He sports a supporting cast that has his back which allows his team to still win with him having a less than stellar game.
He is never mentioned in the same breath as the three superstars (I refuse to mention their names) he defeated, on the way to the Finals.
It is his team that is in the NBA Finals and as Paul so eloquently put it, "all the other teams have to watch the Celtics play now."
Yes it is Lakers vs. Celtics, but the untold story lies in Paul Pierce wanting to throw down the debate of who is the best player to come out of L.A.