Matter of fact, dude's got a enough of a rep as a grade-A loudmouth to tie for second in a 2008 ESPN the Magazine survey of NBA players asked to name the league's biggest trash-talkers, placing behind only fellow Celtic Kevin Garnett(notes). (Sharing second place? Then-Detroit Piston Rasheed Wallace(notes), now a prominently hilarious teammate of Pierce and Garnett, giving the Green a clean sweep in the dirt-talkin' department.)
[Photos: See classic images of the Celtics-Lakers]
So it's not surprising that, with the Celtics up 97-90 with 1:12 left in the fourth quarter of Game 2 — with his team just 72 seconds away from evening the NBA Finals at one game apiece and wresting home-court advantage away from the Los Angeles Lakers — the Inglewood High School product decided to spout off to some jeering Lakers fans as he helped up fallen teammate Kendrick Perkins(notes). Watch the video:
Well, then. Can't knock the captain's confidence if he thinks his squad's about to roll off three straight against a Lakers side that hasn't lost three in a row since dropping a trio to the Miami Heat, Charlotte Bobcats and Orlando Magic during a tough March road trip. And it's not like Pierce hasn't earned the right to talk a bit, what with his Hall-of-Fame-caliber career, his 2008 Finals MVP and his miraculous ability to recover from career-threatening injuries in an unbelievably short amount of time.
[Photos: See Paul Pierce in action]
Deciding to get mouthy in the closing moments of a much-needed win to which you contributed an underwhelming 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting, though? I could see where that might rub some folks the wrong way. Namely, 12 guys in purple and gold who smoked Pierce's team like one of Red's victory stogies on the way to a 102-89 Game 1 win. Come Tuesday night, we'll find out if Phil Jackson's crew plans to make a liar out of the Truth.
(h/t You Been Blinded)