HoopsHype Paul Pierce rumors

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Paul Pierce didn’t know if his Washington Wizards would encounter the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs when he sat down with ESPN.com last week in Philadelphia for a candid interview. The postseason picture hadn’t been finalized and at that point the Raptors were only a possible opponent, so he was asked about them and bluntly opined that they don’t “have the ‘It’ that makes you feel worried.” On Thursday, Pierce attempted to clarify his comments. “I really was talking about a number of teams. It wasn’t everything was focused on Toronto,” Pierce said. “I think I was voicing my opinion on a number of teams that over the years, when you see those contenders and are just like, ‘Man, they’re going to be really hard to beat. They got a chance to win a championship.’ That’s what I was really focusing on. Not to take anything away from Toronto. They’re a great team in their own right. But I guess what I mean when you’ve faced a guy like a LeBron James over the years in the playoffs, a guy that can really turn it around by himself, guys like Vince Carter and Allen Iverson.” Washington Post

Wall had read the story by Wednesday evening and didn’t have a problem with Pierce’s comments. “I think it was great. It is. It’s a great point,” Wall said before the Wizards’ loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the regular season finale. “I’m the type of guy, you know, I don’t like to sit out of anything, practice or games, but he also told me I’m the key to how far this team goes and I tried to do my best this season of trying to stay healthy and play as many games as I can. I’m the type of guy that hates to get out of practice. I like to compete in everything I do. This is what I do. This is my job. But I had to do that to get through most of the season. But I definitely want to be great. I definitely pick his brain about certain things I’ve been doing all season because he knows what it takes. He’s in a position where I want to be: a Hall of Famer, winning a championship, and those types of things.” Washington Post

There’s a worry that the comments, which come on the heels of Brooklyn’s final game of the season in a tight playoff race, could distract the team in a high-pressure situation. But while Johnson and Williams declined to speak with the media prior to the game, Nets coach Lionel Hollins said the comments didn’t faze him. “I don’t really care (about the comments),” Hollins said during his normal media availability before the Nets took on the Orlando Magic. “I wasn’t here. I don’t care. All I can go by is how we are this year, and as I’ve said many many times, the vocal leader of our team early on was (Kevin Garnett), and since he’s left it’s been more of a collective.” The Brooklyn Game

"Freedom of speech," said Jason Kidd, who left Brooklyn for the Milwaukee Bucks over the offseason. Asked if he saw the same problems, Kidd replied, "He was in the locker room. For us as coaches we're in a different locker room. So we're coming in pre-game, halftime, they spend a lot more time in that locker room than coaches. So that group of guys that played, to be 10-21 and find ourselves with 44 wins, someone has to care if you're going to turn it around that way. "I think sometimes when trades are made the beginning of the season on paper they look great. It just takes time. Sometimes the process by the media or outside influences or sources want it to be now. Sometimes it doesn't work that way." Booth Newspapers

With the Nets set to play their season finale Wednesday against the Magic - a game they have to win in order to keep their playoff hopes alive - another Hall of Famer jumped on the Williams' blame train. "I can't argue with what Paul Pierce said. I have to agree with him," Reggie Miller told WFAN. "I don't really like to kill guys but you have to call a spade a spade. I think he's right on. "The most important position in the game today is the point guard position," he added. "And if you can't get that out of your point guard - because that's the coach on the floor. That's the guy that has to get everyone rallying in the right position. So if your point guard is not demanding and is not accountable and is holding everyone else accountable, your team is going to struggle. That's why Brooklyn has struggled because Deron Williams - not only has he not held himself accountable, he's not holding anybody on the floor accountable as well." New York Daily News

April 15, 2015 Updates

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