Paul Pierce has probably banned LeBron’s from the Clippers’ locker room


As time goes by, some of the NBA’s biggest rivalries die out. Fortunately, Paul Pierce doesn’t look to be letting up any time soon as he’s still making decisions based on the last great player v. player rivalry between himself and Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James.

To be specific — and to show how Pierce is set deeply in his ways: per Marcin Gortat of the Washington Wizards, Pierce banned all Wizards players from wearing the shoes of his rival in LeBron.

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  • “Well, what I learned from him, you’re not allowed to wear LeBron James’s shoes to practice,” Gortat said during the Wizards’ media day, among other things. “I learned you have to be two hours before practice to lift. For warmups, you have to do at least jump rope. If Paul Pierce does 10 reps on the bench press, you got to do 11 because he’s 40 years old [actually, 37] so you got to do at least one more. And I learned people look good in glasses, too. So, I learned a lot from him. Just the approach to the game. I wish I learned the trash talking in a game but I just don’t have the bling-bling on my finger so I can’t do it. He’s special.”

    Call it Pierce being the last of a dying breed, as many non-Millenials would describe. Often the older NBA fans complain about there not being enough hate in the NBA. Not being enough hate between players and teams, or whatever best contributed to their viewing experiences at a younger age. To paint a picture, the Pistons/Bulls and Pacers/Knicks rivalries are always brought up: you’ve the Jordan Rules, how the Pistons beat up on Jordan before his ascension to greatness, how Reggie Miller absolutely lived to kill the Knicks, especially in the playoffs, etc. That hate, seen in tidbits now, isn’t much lived — if the older group is allowed to tell it.

    In the 2000s, rivalries still lived: LeBron James versus the Wizards/Pistons/Celtics or any team that stood in the way of him capturing a NBA championship, akin to Jordan vs. the Pistons; the revived Lakers/Celtics rivalry as both teams hit the peak of their power in 2008 thanks to trades for big men. Now, you’ve some here and there, mostly featuring the Clippers as every team in the league seems to hate them, especially Golden State and Memphis.

    But nothing like the olden days, and that’s what Pierce represents with this mentality.

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    From my knowledge, no Clippers dawned LeBron James sneakers last season so they may be able to avoid having to alter their fashion choices to fit the demands of the wily veteran. And even if they did, it’s little things like this that make Pierce far more valuable than just on-court projections. Depending on who you’ve spoken with, the Clippers, who are relatively young in the tooth when referencing the core (Paul-GriffinJordanRedick+), have always needed a guy to change the mentality of the franchise. Acquiring Chris Paul in 2011 was step 1. Doc Rivers in 2013, step 2. And now Paul Pierce, acquired this summer by way of free agency, may be step 3, and for the franchise’s and fanbase’s sake, the final step.

    It’s the little things, and as a fan, this one little thing — which’ll likely be one of maybe hundreds throughout the year — that make me excited for the Pierce-in-Los Angeles experience, as should you.

    Oh yeah: the new-look LeBron’s (the 13s to be exact) aren’t too shabby so this makes things easy on the Clippers players unless they want to rock some throwback joints.

    Next: Rumors: Is Chuck Hayes 'favorite' to make Clippers' roster?