Throwing down the gauntlet against his younger opponents, Washington Wizards veteran guard Paul Pierce expressed on Tuesday’s “Mike and Mike” ESPN radio program his disdain for younger players, a group that includes Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James.
Pierce’s diatribe was first reported on the Washington Post’s DC Sports Blog, and began after he was asked about the concept of franchises creating so-called “super teams” within the past few years.
Saying, “This is a different era,” Pierce then added, “Guys are playing a lot more together in the summer. You see more friendships in the league. It’s not like in the ‘80s when you had enemies, or you couldn’t stand this guy, and there were fights all the time.” Pierce, who began his NBA career in 1999, noted, “It’s a new generation. They all want to play with each other, they all want to win.”
After the show’s co-host Cris Carter then commented, “You bring some fire to LeBron and them. I’ve seen you say some things to LeBron,” Pierce made his feelings perfectly clear. “I can’t stand none of those guys. I want to beat all of them.”
It should be noted that during the 2006-07 season, Pierce’s then-team, the Boston Celtics, went through a 24-58 campaign, not coming close to even a playoff berth. In the subsequent offseason, the Celtics greatly improved their team by essentially becoming a super team. The team acquired guard Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder) and center Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves, and then won the NBA title. Two years later, they reached the seventh game of the NBA Finals before coming up short against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Pierce’s Wizards team is seen as a longshot to compete for the Eastern Conference title against both the Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls. His first opportunity to face James and the new-look Cleveland team will be on Friday, November 21, when the Cavs travels to the nation’s capital for an 8 p.m. matchup that will be broadcast nationally by ESPN.