NBA players are prideful, narcissistic and petty creatures for the most part.
Many players run on fellow players, coaches, front office and media slights for fuel and they all want the respect that they feel they deserve on a basketball court.
One guy who deserves a great deal of admiration from Boston Celtics fans and the organization is future hall of fame small forward and 2008 NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce.
Pierce spent 15 years in Celtic green and made 10 all-star appearances and five All-NBA appearances in that time, averaging 22-6-4.
He is being honored by the team on February 11, when the Celtics will host the Cavaliers and they will retire Pierce’s No. 34 jersey.
Another guy who is going to be honored that night is former Celtic Isaiah Thomas, who is coming back to Boston for the first time in uniform, after not suiting up in Wednesday’s game.
Thomas requested the team play any video tribute on February 11 because he would be back healthy and playing with his family in attendance.
That sort of sharing of the love does not appease Pierce, who doesn’t want anyone infringing on his night.
Here is what Pierce said on ESPN’s The Jump:
“I.T. might have to wait until next year,” he told his co-hosts Thursday afternoon. “Isaiah, [Wednesday] was your night. Come February 11, you might have to wait until next year.”
Thomas doesn’t understand Pierce’s thought process as he told NBC Sports Boston:
“That’s Pierce’s night. But the video tribute ain’t the whole night. 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 was going to give me on that night. And when my representatives reached out to these guys, they were all for it. They agreed on it. I know people. I don’t know why they’re so mad about it. I’m not taking nothing from Paul Pierce. He did 15 years here, so there’s nothing that I can take from him. But if they choose to do it that night, that would be great, and I would be honored, and my family and friends can see how much they appreciated me here.”
This is all really much ado about nothing in my opinion, but I can see where each is coming from at least.
Pierce deserves his own night, but Thomas was a fan favorite and deserves a little recognition from the organization as well, I am sure everything will be just fine in the end. Just don’t expect Pierce to have any kind words about Thomas or his Cavaliers teammates.