Just like the rest of their teammates, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were quite glad to see the Brooklyn Nets take a 2-1 series lead over the Toronto Raptors after securing a 102-98 Game 3 victory on Friday night.
Unlike their companions, however, Garnett and Pierce were vying for a little extra something following the win. Not something on the court. Not something on the sideline. But the fans that fill the seats.
“They could do better,” said Garnett of Brooklyn’s home crowd, according to ESPN. “I was expecting Brooklyn to be real hostile, New York-style. I know what it’s like to come here as the opposition, so our crowd could do better, but they were there when we needed them, and we fed off of them.”
“Well, we know gradually they got into it,” Pierce also said of the Barclays Center crowd. “Hopefully the next game, it will get a lot better from the start. We want to come out from the jump, from the beginning, and have them in the game. It shouldn’t take a big play from us. We want them behind us. It was a great crowd tonight.”
Many players wouldn’t go the route of challenging their team’s fans. Pierce and Garnett aren’t like most players, though. They’re champions, future Hall of Famers and fighters.
When they call out their home crowd, it’s simply verbal brilliance. Do the Nets necessarily need a more intimidating fan base to win home games? Well, no one was complaining when they were winning 15 home games in a row not that long ago.
But Garnett and Pierce understand the potential for more and aren’t afraid to implore it. Whatever advantage, whatever edge they can legally obtain, they’ll openly seek it. They know their resumes will elicit the response they’re looking for. That’s what gives these comments a quality of excellence.
And when they get what they asked for, the Nets will be very grateful that these two put it upon themselves to lead once again.