Kids can do some pretty stupid things in the face of someone famous. Adults can do the same, even. I once said to Adam Duritz, "hey, great set" after a show of his that I bartended. You just do it to be nice, no matter how much it betrays your deepest-held beliefs. Even if you're a Laker fan in the face of the longest tenured Boston Celtic.
Jackie MacMullan has put together a great (and somewhat gross, as you'll read) piece on Pierce as he enters his 13th season with Boston, including an anecdote that has Pierce trying to chow down on a beef burger at Johnny Rocket's in L.A., only to be interrupted by an autograph-seeking fan that he had previously seen run out of the restaurant minutes earlier.
Paul takes it from here.
"He came back with the biggest Lakers flag I've ever seen," Pierce said. "Asked me to sign it. I snatched that thing from him and threw it [across the room]."
Seriously, Laker fan?
Such obsessive was my fandom that, even as a child, had I seen Isiah Thomas or Mark Aguirre walking around their native Chicago, I wouldn't have asked for an autograph. Much less on a Chicago Bulls flag. But I was, and am, a freak. The rules are different for me.
Still, teenager trying to get an autograph of a Boston Celtic, you're really going to try and ask him to sign a Laker flag? Even a decade ago, it would have been pretty stupid, but to attempt it after these two teams have met in the finals twice in the last three years? If I were Pierce, I would have thrown ketchup all over the damn thing.