Tue Mar 29 12:00pm EDT
On December 28, 2010, Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce(notes) got called for what he felt was a questionable foul during the first quarter of a game against the Indiana Pacers. After C's coach Doc Rivers called Pierce back to the bench, the star forward decided to take the gum out of his mouth and toss it into the stands.
The unsanctioned disposal earned "The Truth" a $15,000 fine because, as ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg reported, "According to someone in the stands, it appeared Pierce threw the gum directly at a fan." It didn't appear quite so malicious on television, but even if the decision to just chuck the gum into the crowd was a relatively benign brainfart that wasn't indicative of boiling rage, simmering frustration or even lukewarm bitterness, it was still weird.
So it was kind of surprising to see Pierce do something similarly tacky on Monday night.
Three months to the day after Pierce's first offense, the Celtics once again met the Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse (eventually losing to Indiana by a 107-100 mark). Once again, the Celtics were called for a questionable first-quarter foul (this time, Kevin Garnett(notes) was the guilty party). And, as you can see in the clip above, once again, Pierce (who finished with 23 points on 8-13 shooting) punctuates his argument with the officials by removing the gum from his mouth and wingin' it toward the sideline.
Listen, people who can afford courtside seats to Pacers games can afford their own gum, Paul Pierce. They can even afford the kind of fancy-schmancy gum that gets under the skin of bros who post on Fender guitar message boards. (Yeah -- they're doing that well.) They don't want your flavorless hand-me-down celebrity gum. And even if they did, they'd rather have gum that was chewed by hometown heroes like Tyler Hansbrough(notes) or Josh McRoberts(notes). Now they've got saliva you can set your watch to!
Beyond that, there's one basic point that I fear you are missing, Paul Pierce: While having a piece/stick of gum is great, having other people's chewed gum flicked in your direction is super gross! Setting aside the fact that you lost $15,000 the last time you did this -- which, granted, isn't a huge amount of money to a dude who's made something like $137 million in salary over the past 12-plus years, but is still a remarkable figure to pay OVER A PIECE OF GUM -- it is really not a nice thing to do! Captains lead by example, Paul. Not by taking things out of their mouths and throwing them around all willy-nilly.
Given the apparent trajectory of Pierce's toss, it seems unlikely that the gum went into the stands this time, so you wouldn't figure that Pierce will face any fiscal repercussions from his repeat gumfense. Still, though, it would probably be a good idea for him to stop doing this, if for no other reason than if one of his teammates steps in gum on the way to the scorer's table, he'll know exactly who to blame.
Video courtesy of the lovely and talented MrTripleDouble10.
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