Nonetheless, the surefire Corridor of Famer truly grew up a Lakers fan who hated the Celtics. Popping out of Kansas, Pierce would have a lot most well-liked to play in LA. He discusses all this (and a lot extra) on Episode 20 of Showtime Basketball’s video podcast All The Smoke With Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.
Pierce moved to Inglewood as a youngster and attended Inglewood Excessive Faculty. Imagine it or not, he didn’t make the varsity’s varsity basketball workforce initially. However he went on to be the workforce’s main scorer and a McDonald’s All-American.
“I’ve a Lakers sweater I used to put on on a regular basis to high school,” Pierce remembered. “It was a hoodie. Who couldn’t be a Laker fan? I grew up proper down the road from the Discussion board, proper there in Inglewood, watching Magic. I hated the Celtics. You from LA, not to mention Inglewood, the place the Discussion board is, after all you’re a Laker fan. How might you not be? In order that’s what makes it actual ironic after I was drafted to the Celtics.
The Lakers and Celtics break up their NBA Finals matchups throughout Pierce’s time in Boston. The Lakers gained 4-Three in 2010, whereas the Celtics gained 4-Three in 2008. The Lakers racked up seven NBA Finals appearances throughout that point (successful 5), whereas the Celtics managed solely two.
That individual period of Lakers greatness might be credited, partly, to Kobe Bryant. The 18-time NBA All-Star and two-time Finals MVP not too long ago handed away in a tragic helicopter crash. Bryant and Pierce had a singular relationship, as the previous Celtic noticed it.
“I performed mad in opposition to all people, however him,” mentioned Pierce. “We at all times simply had a special kind of relationship. I believe it was extra out of respect too. Everyone else, I just about couldn’t care much less about. It appeared that method, off the court docket. Simply to have the chance to match up with him, know him on-and-off the court docket was particular. It made me who I’m, just about.”