By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Paul Pierce is mad about young stars like Kevin Durant leaving contenders like Oklahoma City to join superteams like Golden State.
Draymond Green is mad about Paul Pierce being mad.
Everyone’s pretty mad.
The madness began when the freshly turned 39-year-old Pierce expressed his displeasure with someone like Durant leaving the Thunder, when that same team very nearly eliminated the Warriors last spring.
Here’s Pierce, from ESPN:
“I’m a competitor. I never believed in … when you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. That’s always been something that’s driven me. In today’s day and age, a lot of these guys are friends. That’s like if Bird decided to go play with Magic or something. These guys, I think the competition makes the game what it is. And Oklahoma had what I feel was a contending team. They had Golden State on the ropes.
I understand when you have great players who are on losing teams who are tired of losing, struggling in the playoffs every year, you’re the lone star. I’ve been in that position, I could’ve left Boston years ago but I stuck it out. And I just feel like when you’re that close as a competitor, you don’t go join the team that just put you out.
Now, the logician might point out that the 2007-08 Celtics just might have brought about the modern era in superteams, as a future Hall of Famer in Pierce likely would have pushed for a trade out of Boston if not for the acquisition of future Hall of Famer Ray Allen and future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett. Pierce stuck around, and they rolled to a title, winning 66 games en route to ending a 22-year title drought.
(The counterpoint to this would be that Pierce, Allen and Garnett were all on the plus side of 30 when they were brought together, whereas the LeBron James-to-the-Heat move and the Kevin Durant-to-the-Warriors decision took place when the stars were still in the early part of their primes.)
But Draymond Green, he didn’t go that route. Instead he took a business perspective on Durant’s decision to join forces with him and Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in Oakland.
Green, again via ESPN:
All these guys coming out talking, like Pierce today. Like, dude, nobody cares what you did or who you did it for. I think, like, just give it a break.
Nobody complained when somebody leaves Apple and goes to Google. Like, aren’t they in competition with each other? Nobody talks junk about the CEO that leaves Apple and goes to Google, but there’s so many guys in this league that are so stupid, they don’t even think like that. They think business-wise, when it happens every day in the world. But in basketball it’s a problem.
Aren’t you competitive in your day job if you work for Apple? Don’t you want to outdo Google? What’s the difference on a basketball court? It’s your day job; you want to outdo your competitor. But if you feel like a situation is better for you, it’s better for your life, it’s better for your family life, it’s better for your happiness, ain’t nobody criticizing them for going to a different company, so why is [Durant] getting criticized so tough? I don’t understand that. I’ll never understand it.
Green will get a chance to
hit Pierce below the belt tell Pierce how he feels when his Warriors meet Pierce’s Clippers on Dec. 7 in a nationally televised game.