Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce underwent two NBA Finals battles against the Los Angeles Lakers, and isn’t a fan of the organization’s move to raise a banner for winning the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament.

In fact, Pierce feels there was a clear motive for why the Lakers did so when he discovered a ceremony was held for winning four games in a meaningless regular season tournament.

“They did that to spite the Celtics, bro,” Pierce told ex-Celtics teammate Kevin Garnett on SHOWTIME Basketball’s “Ticket and The Truth” show. “I’m telling you because we got 17. So that counts toward the 17? 17.5?”

Since raising the banner, the Lakers have lost seven of their last nine games played. They’re seated as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference with a modest 17-15 record, fighting the very real possibility of missing the actual playoffs if unable to muster up some momentum.

Story continues below advertisement

“So they shouldn’t have put up a banner, maybe they should’ve put up a plaque,” Pierce added. “… Just put it in the locker room.”

While the Lakers earned the right to celebrate their five minutes of glory for finishing atop a tournament that holds no weight in the history books, the Celtics have remained laser-focused on what truly matters — the real banner.

Boston is riding a five-game winning streak, which included a Christmas Day victory over the Lakers at Arena, having become the only team to remain undefeated at home through 16 games. The Celtics are the top dog not only in the Eastern Conference, but across the league, holding an NBA-best 25-6 record thus far.

Story continues below advertisement

The In-Season Tournament might be all the Lakers will have to smile about amid what’s already been a rocky season heading for thin-ice territory.

Featured image via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images