Throughout his 19-year NBA career, Paul Pierce rubbed a whole lot of people the wrong way. He was brash and cocky, and the fact that he regularly ripped the hearts out of opponents with clutch shots didn't exactly help his standing, either. Just ask Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who recently explained how he was not a fan of Pierce until the two teamed up in 2014-15:
“I thought he was an a–, the biggest trash talker, probably the most disrespectful player I'd ever seen,” Beal said on The Lowe Post podcast. “But when I was his teammate, he was the most fun, lovable guy you can ever imagine.”
Pierce spent the first 14 years of his tenure with the Boston Celtics, establishing himself as one of the best wings in the league and making 10 All-Star appearances. Most importantly, he won a championship in 2008 and made another NBA Finals appearance in 2010.
The Celtics then traded Pierce—along with Kevin Garnett—to the Brooklyn Nets during the summer of 2013. Pierce went on to spend just one year with the Nets before signing with the Wizards that ensuing offseason.
During that 2014-15 campaign in Washington, Pierce played in 73 games and averaged 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists over 26.2 minutes per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the floor, 38.9 percent from 3-point range and 78.1 percent from the free-throw line.
The Wizards lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs that season. Washington was eliminated in six games after Pierce's game-tying 3 at the buzzer was waved off.
The University of Kansas product joined the Los Angeles Clippers that summer and spent two seasons with the Clippers, but at that point, it was obvious that Pierce was no longer even a shell of the player he once was.
But the attitude has never left.