Monday was Isaiah Thomas’ time to finally receive the recognition from Boston Celtics fans that he deserved. It also opened up an opportunity for Chauncey Billups to bring up a sore spot with one of his colleagues.
You may recall that last year Paul Pierce blocked Thomas from receiving a video tribute upon a trip to Boston because it would take some attention away from Pierce, who was being honored with his jersey retirement that day. The end result is that Thomas didn’t receive his tribute until Monday, a year and a half after his trade away from the Celtics.
Markus Howard’s performance on Friday night was the truth in more ways than one.
The Marquette guard exploded for 45 points in a 103-85 win over Buffalo, including dropping an unfathomable 40 points in the second half alone. Howard also added five rebounds and four assists while shooting 12-for-25 from the field, 9-for-13 from three, and a perfect 12-for-12 from the line.
The loss was Buffalo’s first of the season, and Howard was well aware of it. After one of those buckets, the junior went full Paul Pierce and hit the crowd with the “I called game” line, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Ben Steele.
Think Markus just yelled "I called game" to the crowd just now. Cold blooded. #mubb
Howard entered play on Friday averaging a team-high 23.2 points per game to help lead Marquette to the No. 20 ranking in the country. There’s a reason why he made our list of college basketball’s biggest under-the-radar stars at the start of the year, but after this eruption against Buffalo, Howard may not be under the radar for much longer.
As Ray Allen prepares to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame later this month, there have been some questions about whether or not his former Boston Celtics teammates will cast their differences aside and be there to support the former sharpshooter. Allen clearly isn’t counting on it.
Allen, of course, angered his former Celtics teammates when he chose to sign with the Miami Heat in 2012 rather than continuing to chase championships in Boston, where he helped win a title in 2008. He said he has since made amends with Paul Pierce but has not spoken with Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo or others.
“I talked to Paul a year ago today, and we patched it out,” Allen said. “So much was made about my decision, and they were upset with me because I left for Miami. But it will never change what went on between us in 2008.”
Even as an analyst, Paul Pierce still continues to troll the Toronto Raptors.
During a halftime segment Wednesday on ESPN, the retired 10-time All-Star smiled and snickered at co-host Chauncey Billups’ suggestion that Raptors guard Kyle Lowry would come up big in the playoffs. Take a look at the clip:
Pierce has some history with Lowry and the Raptors, of course. He eliminated them from the playoffs in two consecutive years, first in 2014 as a member of the Brooklyn Nets and then in 2015 with the Washington Wizards. There was definitely a bit of trash-talking and general bad blood coming from both sides as well, and it seems some of that still remains in the Year of our Lord 2018.
The Cleveland Cavaliers should be considered the favorite to win the Eastern Conference as long as they have LeBron James, but Paul Pierce believes there is a legitimate chance they may not advance beyond the first round of the postseason.
If the playoffs began today, the No. 3 seed Cavs would host the No. 6 seed Philadelphia 76ers. With Cleveland trailing the Toronto Raptors 79-64 at halftime on Wednesday night, Pierce and Chauncey Billups debated over how tough of an opponent the Sixers would be for the Cavs. The discussion begins at around the 1:30 mark.
So here was the halftime segment of Raps-Cavs where we started by discussing how no LeBron James team had EVER given up 79 points in a half before, but then totally devolved into @PaulPierce34 & @1MrBigShot arguing over how tight a Cavs-Sixers playoff series would be. pic.twitter.com/CT6C9NIiTX
“They’re young. They’re hungry,” Pierce said. “It’s not a given Cleveland can get out of the first round if they play Philly.”
The Cavs have been inconsistent this season, but it’s a stretch to say the 76ers are ready to get the best of LeBron in a seven-game series. That would require winning at least one playoff game in Cleveland, which is no easy task.
Of course, many have pointed out that Pierce had his own rivalry with James that dates back a number of years, and this isn’t the first time the Boston Celtics legend has tried to downplay LeBron’s accomplishments. Perhaps there is some bias at play.
Paul Pierce thinks he knows who the next retired number of the Boston Celtics will belong to.
Pierce said that Kevin Garnett will “without a doubt” see his No. 5 raised to the rafters now that Pierce has had the honor.
“Without a doubt, KG’s number will be [the next one] retired in Boston,” Pierce said, via Chris Forsberg of ESPN. “It’s going to happen.”
Celtics president Danny Ainge seemed to concur, noting that the team has had informal discussions about retiring Garnett’s number. While the decision ultimately lies with ownership, Ainge argued against those who believe Garnett didn’t spend enough time in Boston to earn the honor.
“It was six years of potential championship-caliber teams and All-Star play from KG,” Ainge said. “I think that it was a pretty significant impact he had in those six years.”
It sounds like there’s a way to go on this decision, but it may happen. That said, it’s safe to say that if it does, that’s where the jersey retirements from that team would end given what has gone down with that team since.
Ray Allen posted a lengthy message on social media Tuesday addressing his time with the Celtics and relationship with Paul Pierce.
On Sunday, Pierce had his No. 34 jersey retired by the Celtics. Among those at TD Garden for the festivities were former teammates Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, and Antoine Walker. Doc Rivers was also there. Ray Allen was not, and that became a topic of discussion.
Whether Ray Allen would attend Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement ceremony was a big topic of discussion prior to Sunday. Allen did not attend the ceremony unlike some of his other former Boston Celtics teammates, and instead shared that he was playing golf. But Pierce says he is not disappointed by that.
Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” Monday that he didn’t have a problem with Allen not making it. However, he was upset that his former teammates Tony Allen and Big Baby Davis didn’t make it:
It may have been Paul Pierce’s big day in Boston, but his son Prince turned out to be the real star of the show.
During an in-game interview between Pierce and ESPN’s Doris Burke, Prince Pierce spent virtually the entire time mugging for the camera as the rest of the interview went on without anyone even noticing.