Paul Pierce: My hatred for New York Knicks has grown
It didn’t take Paul Pierce long to acclimate to his new surroundings in Brooklyn. Pierce, a lifelong Boston Celtic, was traded to the Nets in June. He says his hatred for the crosstown New York Knicks has already grown, even though he’s only been part of the Nets for less than two months.
“I think the hate [for the Knicks] has grown a little. Everybody knows how much I disliked the Knicks when I was with the Celtics, but I think it’s grown to another level,” Pierce said on ESPN NewYork 98.7 FM’s “The Michael Kay Show” on Thursday. “I think it’s time for the Nets to start running this city.”
Pierce already had a rivalry with the Knicks because of his days in Boston, so this isn’t something new. But his lack of respect for the Knicks has been consistent. Back when he was introduced to the media by the Nets, he intentionally left the Knicks out when mentioning the top contenders in the Eastern Conference. He listed the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, and Chicago Bulls as the top teams, along with his Nets. He said he left the Knicks off on purpose.
Despite slighting the Knicks last month, Pierce does believe there will be a strong rivalry between the teams next season.
“The only thing that separates the two teams is a bridge. And both of them are in the same division and both of them are considered contenders. You can’t help but say this is probably gonna be the best rivalry in sports next year.”
Pierce is optimistic about the season and says his goal is to win another championship or two before he has to retire. He also believes the Nets are title worthy, and he cited the five all-stars in the lineup as a strong point for the team.
Sure, the team may have five all-stars between him, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson, but he has to recognize that the players are not all in their prime. The Nets will be very good, but I still don’t see them reaching the NBA Finals.