Paul Pierce embraces the villain’s role in the afterlife of his NBA career.

Toronto Raptors fans offered the Boston Celtics legend and ESPN NBA analyst a rude welcome Thursday night at Scotiabank Arena when they serenaded him with a “Paul Pierce sucks” chant during Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The last 20-plus years in which Pierce received boos and similar chants at NBA arenas prepared him to soak up his latest moment in the limelight.

We’re not sure what prompted the Raptors fans to hate on Pierce. Perhaps his prediction Toronto would beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals is the source of Raptors fans’ ire.

Nevertheless, Pierce’s Raptors pick looks good after Game 1, which Toronto won 118-109. Then again, his previous predictions also appeared accurate after the opening phase of the series.

Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images