LeBron James and Paul Pierce have a personal rivalry that dates back several seasons.
When Pierce played for the Celtics, he personally out-dueled James in an epic Game 7 to eliminate the Cavaliers from the 2008 playoffs. When Pierce was traded to the Nets, he immediately rekindled the flame by delivering a hard foul in a preseason matchup. And, Pierce has gotten his share of highlight plays against LeBron, despite the deficiency in athleticism.
It appears as though LeBron remembered all of this, smacking Pierce in the face on his way to a slam dunk in Cleveland’s 38-point win over the Wizards.
DeMar DeRozan had just put on his moves, gotten to the elbow and drained the jumper that put Toronto up 95-93 with 12.9 seconds remaining. Washington called a timeout to advance the ball and draw up a play; they still were going to have one shot at sending the game into overtime (or maybe getting the win).
Paul Pierce came over to the sidelines to inbound the ball, and Drake reached out and grabbed his arm.
It’s done before Pierce is handed the ball, so it doesn’t impact the play. Pretty clearly, Drake was just trying to be that guy who is everybody’s friend and can joke around with them. Even at inappropriate times.
But the best part was Pierce was having none of it.
He pushed him off with an “I’m working here” look. None of which Drake seems to grasp.
Washington missed the shot, and Toronto picked up the win, 95-93. That’s the second Raptors win over the Wizards in two weeks.
Paul Pierce moves into 15th place on NBA’s all-time scoring list (VIDEO)
With a three-pointer early in the first quarter on Monday, Paul Pierce passed Alex English to move into 15th place on the NBA’s all-time career scoring list.
Interestingly enough, the next player Pierce has the opportunity to pass is Kevin Garnett, who of course played alongside him in Boston during the Celtics’ 2008 championship season.
Garnett currently sits 262 points ahead of Pierce, and based on their current per-game averages, while it’s very possible that Pierce moves up a notch this year, it’s a bit more likely that he does so only by choosing to come back to play again next season.