Paul Pierce has 49 more reasons to dislike LeBron James after Game 4, but points aren’t all that irritates Pierce. The former Boston Celtics captain reportedly holds a grudge against James for once trying to steal his coach.
Before “The Decision” that landed James with the Miami Heat, before last offseason’s blockbuster trade that sent Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets, James apparently tried to convince Rivers to bolt Boston for the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Sports Illustrated.
“James’s constant complaining irks Pierce, as does his belief, league sources say, that James once tried to recruit Doc Rivers to Cleveland when Rivers was coaching the Celtics,” SI’s Chris Mannix writes.
It is unclear exactly when this occurred, or if it even did occur; it could be merely a figment of Pierce’s imagination. Presumably, it happened between 2008 and 2010, after Rivers, Pierce and the Celtics won the NBA championship and before James took his talents to South Beach.
Rivers was miles away Monday when James dropped 49 points on Pierce and the Nets in Miami’s 102-96 victory to give the Heat a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Rivers is now in Los Angeles, where he and the Clippers are stalking a Western Conference crown. Pierce and James are locked in another postseason battle. It appears that everything has worked out — for everyone except the Celtics and Cavs.