Seeing as how it's the dog days of the NBA calendar, the internet needs something to debate over. We all have to fill our time somehow right? That's why you heard the Steph vs Magic debate last week. It's all subjective stuff that people get very worked up over. Stans come out in full force and everyone yells at one another until the next debate hits our timelines.
Now sometimes players bring this upon themselves. When DWade was going into the HOF, it sparked the whole Pierce/Wade debate after Pierce's comments. If there's one thing you can bank on, it's people being upset whenever Paul Pierce says anything. Obviously, I am willing to admit my bias towards him, but it's now reached the point where he might be the most disrespected and underappreciated first ballot Hall Of Fame player/Top 75 team member of all time.
This came up again today because of the video below.
OK, at some point there needs to be a line. Look I get it, Jimmy Butler just ended the Celtics season. He had a pretty impressive postseason run before ultimately losing again in the Finals. But is it fair to suggest that he's quickly becoming overrated? He's absolutely a playoff riser who has proven on any given night he can go toe to toe with some of the best players in the league. But I think we need to pump the brakes here a little bit.
I've covered it in previous blogs whenever this Pierce disrespect comes up so I won't dive into all the details. It just seems like people don't really remember the Pierce era? How many other players get thrown into these comparisons like Pierce that have over 26K points (20th all time)? Not only that…this little detail?
Last time I checked, they didn't hand out Top 75 team spots to everyone. In reality, Pierce is closer to top 50 and one of the greatest SFs of all time. I mean I get it, now in retirement Pierce has had his fair share of hot takes which have sort of turned the younger generation on him a bit, and playing for the Celtics certainly doesn't help among opposing fans, but somehow his accomplishments mean nothing in 2023. It's very odd. The way people talk about Jimmy Butler in 2023 you'd think he won Finals MVP of both of his appearances or something.
Maybe it's just a Celts thing? For example, someone like Jayson Tatum gets WAY more slander for losing in the ECF/Finals compared to other young stars who don't have anywhere close to the same playoff success. Almost like it's better to lose early than late in a playoff run or not even make the playoffs at all. It's very odd.
I will say when you look at the responses to that tweet it's about what you would expect. Heat Twitter yelling that it's disrespectful to Jimmy Butler to be compared to Paul Pierce, and Celts Twitter like myself arguing it's disrespectful to Paul Pierce. The younger generation arguing there's no way Pierce is the better player while the older generation has an aneurysm.
In the end, nobody wins and this debate will pass just like they all do. Then next week we'll have another take involving Pierce comparing him to some other player and we'll do this dance again. I guess that's the deal when you're one of the most disrespected HOFers to ever play.