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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Paul Pierce frustrated over Isaiah Thomas controversy

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce seems frustrated that a supposed conflict has emerged between him and Isaiah Thomas.

A story that made headlines on Thursday was one about Pierce saying he didn’t want any Thomas video tributes playing during the Cavaliers-Celtics game on Feb. 11. The Celtics will be retiring Pierce’s jersey that night, which will also mark Thomas’ second game back in Boston since being traded to Cleveland.

Here’s what Pierce tweeted Thursday night after seeing that the story had made headlines.

Here’s what Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” that caused the headlines.

“I’m not saying Isaiah shouldn’t get a tribute video … but on Feb. 11, the night I get my jersey retired, I’m not sure I want to look up at the JumboTron and see Isaiah highlights,” Pierce said on ‘The Jump’ Thursday.

Thomas’ return to Boston actually occurred on Wednesday night, but he didn’t play in the game because he is working his way back from a hip injury. Thomas asked for the Celtics to shelve his tribute until February, when he would be playing and his family would be able to attend to appreciate it.

“That’s Pierce’s night. But, like, the video tribute ain’t the whole night,” Thomas said. “I just wanted my family to be here to see it. That’s what it came down to. I wanted to be able to play. And I wanted my family to experience the love and appreciation this city and this organization is going to give me on that night. And when my representatives reached out to these guys, [the Celtics] were all for it. They agreed on it.”

The Celtics are now in a predicament, though GM Danny Ainge seemed to indicate they would honor both players, while keeping the focus mostly on Pierce.

“I think Paul said it best: He’s going to be the appetizer, the main course and the dessert. I thought that was pretty funny,” Ainge told the “Toucher and Rich” program. “I think it won’t interfere with Paul. And Paul understands that, everybody understands that. It’ll be a great game and a great moment. And Isaiah deserves it, in our minds.”

Based on Pierce’s comments Thursday, it seems he might be bothered by a Thomas tribute. This may not be so easy for the Celtics to resolve. They had better make sure Pierce is 100 percent OK with the Thomas tribute before doing it. The last thing they need is for Pierce to have yet another Celtics-related beef.



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