Brandon Jennings, a 27-year-old NBA journeyman on his fourth team in 14 months, felt compelled to rain on the parade of praise heaped upon Paul Pierce, a 39-year-old surefire Hall of Famer who played the final game of his career on Sunday after 19 seasons, 10 All-Star appearances and one NBA title.
This was the tweet Jennings sent after midnight:
That tweet came hours after Pierce walked off the Staples Center floor for the last time in a subdued postgame farewell — absent of the usual pomp and circumstance reserved for the game’s legends and accompanied only by a brief acknowledgement of the Clippers crowd he served for the last two years.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) April 30, 2017
That tweet also came hours after Jennings finished scoreless in 13 minutes of the first second-round playoff game of his eight-year career. It was a 12-point loss to the Boston Celtics — you know, the team Pierce led to four conference finals appearances between 2002 and 2012 — and Jennings’ lone highlight of the afternoon was stepping on Terry Rozier’s shoe to prevent him from putting it back on:
Brandon Jennings went to step on Terry Rozier's shoe so he couldn't put it back on.
Whatever it takes ???? pic.twitter.com/RBTLD6494E
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 30, 2017
Apparently that wasn’t petty enough. Jennings felt the need to insist Pierce shouldn’t get a “farewell tour,” even though he didn’t ask for one and didn’t get one, outside of Boston, where he responded to a video tribute with genuine emotion and a late-game 3-pointer that brought the TD Garden house down in the hours before the New England Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl on February 5:
A couple weeks later, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green came up with this idea that Pierce was seeking a “farewell tour” in his final NBA season, a la Kobe Bryant, in some strange on-court trash talk aimed at the veteran forward, who was sitting on the end of the Clippers bench:
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 24, 2017
To which Pierce later responded with this untimely tweet:
73 wins and u thought u was gonna win a title that yr ????????????3-1 lead oops
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) February 24, 2017
And this detailed explanation for the tweet’s untimeliness:
— Celtics News (@CelticsNewsNBA) February 26, 2017
Whether Jennings thought better of his tweet, feared the reciprocative trash talk, realized he’s averaging 10 fewer points in the playoffs for the Wizards than Pierce did in Washington at age 37, or some combination of the three, the career 38.8 percent shooter deleted his “farewell tour” tweet.
Then, after deleting the tweet, Jennings doubled and tripled down on his misinformed pettiness:
So, to recap: While Pierce’s Hall of Fame peers, including Kobe, spent Sunday night lauding Pierce’s accomplishments, Jennings — the same guy who got a farewell kick out the door from a 31-win New York Knicks team this season — spent it trying to knock one of the 15 most prolific scorers in NBA history, only to delete the tweet, seemingly stand by the deleted tweet, and then prove once and for all he had no idea what he was talking about. That about sums up The Brandon Jennings experience.
We should point out that Jennings only needs to average 19 points while playing every game for the next 12 seasons to catch Pierce’s 26,397 career points by age 39. He averaged 3.5 points as a 27-year-old for the Wizards this season. At this rate, his farewell tour might be held in China pretty soon.
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