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Paul Pierce Claps Back at Miami Heat Fans Who Chanted ‘Paul Pierce Sucks’
- Updated: April 17, 2019
Former Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce’s controversial remarks concerning Dwyane Wade led to a backlash that had Heat fans chanting, “Paul Pierce sucks,” during the final home game of Wade’s legendary career.
On Tuesday, Pierce responded to that brutal response.
Pierce was on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown,” with the show’s host Michelle Beadle first playing remarks by Celtics president Danny Ainge. Those came during an appearance on a Boston sports talk radio program, with Ainge commenting that Pierce was more consistent than Wade.
Ainge’s defense of Pierce was based on his discussions with the Celtics analytics department in which he asked them to determine who was the better player. He indicated that while many players believe Wade is better, his own opinion differed sharply:
Pierce first responded after hearing Ainge’s remarks:
“Danny got my back. That’s my man.”
Following that, Pierce made the point that the Celtics were at the forefront of the use of statistics in measuring ability:
“Why do you think people follow the trends. We (Boston) started the analytics in basketball in Boston and it trended. We sent Daryl Morey over there to Houston.”
Pierce then acknowledged that within the United States, only the state of Massachusetts would likely select Pierce in this debate:
“If you did a chart all over America, D. Wade and Paul, I’m sure you have 49 states in red (the Heat’s colors) and one in green (the Celtics’ colors), and that’s fine.”
Of course, Ainge’s bias as both a former Celtics player and executive means that his opinions should be taken with a grain of salt. Like Wade, Pierce is headed for the Hall of Fame, with both players having been named MVP of the NBA Finals.
However, Pierce ended his 19-year career playing his final four seasons with three other teams after being traded by the Celtics. He received no farewell tour from opposing teams and their fans like Wade did. While that may not settle the issue as to which player was better, it’s indicative of who the vast majority believes deserves the accolade.