The Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat are currently in the midst of an intriguing seven-game playoff series. Although these two teams have never thrown down in the postseason before, it feels like an old rivalry. Why? Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
The two NBA vets have long been thorns in LeBron James’ side. It used to be in the old Cavs/Celtics days as James was trying to climb the ranks of the NBA’s best, and now it’s the two veterans trying to stop The King from three-peating.
During a recent interview with ESPN, Pierce made no bones about his dislike for LeBron:
“I think it is more of a basketball thing.We are aiming for the same prize and only one of you can get it, you know? I mean, it’s going to be a dislike there. That’s nothing that has carried over off the court. I think everything — the dislike for me, LeBron, or Miami or Cleveland — it’s all based on what we are both chasing, and that is about it.”
So while Pierce doesn’t care much for James the basketball player, it’s nothing personal. Fair? I say absolutely yes.
There’s not enough hate and dislike in the NBA these days. I liked the league better when it was more cut-throat and rivalry driven. Teams definitely get heated during battle these days, but it pales in comparison to what used to go down 20 and 30 years ago.
But as always, Pierce and Garnett are waving the old school flag in proud fashion. If you’re not with them, you’re against them. They don’t have time to make friends along the way. Like them or not, you at least have to respect what they stand for.