If you had to pick the one former member of the Boston Celtics who struck fear into the hearts of children, you’d probably guess Kevin Garnett. But you’d be wrong.
It turns out Paul Pierce was the one who used to scare kids, at least the teenage sons of former Celtics coaches Doc Rivers and Paul Pressey. Their respective offspring, Austin Rivers and Phil Pressey, are now NBA players themselves, but there was a time when the sound of Pierce’s voice sent them scurrying.
"We used to be there shooting before practices and games," Austin Rivers told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. "Then he would come up and say, ‘Y’all got to get off. It’s our turn now.’ We were like, all right. We were scared of him at that point."
Rivers, now a second-year guard with the New Orleans Pelicans, faced off against Pressey, an undrafted rookie playing for the Celtics, on Sunday. Rivers’ team came out with a 121-120 victory in overtime.
Both young players have upcoming matchups with scary, old Pierce’s current team, the Brooklyn Nets, in the next week.
"We’ve grown up now, and now we try to compete against these guys," Rivers added. "It was crazy last year going up against him because it was weird, but now it’s like, whatever. But it’s always a special moment when you get to compete against Hall of Fame guys like Paul and Kevin (Garnett) and those guys. Those guys are some of the best players to ever play."
Of course, this only gives more fodder to the jokes about Pierce, 36, being an NBA senior citizen. He might be a future Hall of Famer, but he literally used to tell kids to get off his lawn – er, court.