After spending this past season with the Wizards, Paul Pierce is returning home to play for the Clippers, signing a three-year deal worth $10 million.
Growing up in California, there’s little surprise Pierce was a Lakers fan during his childhood. They had the mystique, storied past, Hall of Famers, and championships while the Clippers were just Los Angeles’ other basketball team. However, instead of choosing the Lakers to spend the final stage of his career with, Pierce opted for the city’s better team.
As it turns out, Pierce’s decision was largely influenced by the team he spent the majority of his career playing for.
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“It’s a dream come true to be able to come home, finally,” Pierce told the Boston Globe. “I grew up a Laker fan but playing on all the Boston Celtic teams . . . there’s no way I could go there — so this was the next-best choice. And it’s always been a dream to play in front of my family and friends.”
Given his allegiance as a youngster, it may be a bit surprising on the surface to hear Pierce signed with the Clippers. On the other hand, the Lakers-Celtics rivalry is one that goes back to the late 1940s. The two teams have met in the NBA Finals 12 times, including in 2008 when Pierce led the Celtics to their most recent championship.
Although he spent a season with the Nets and one with the Wizards, Paul Pierce will always be remembered as a Celtic. And, considering he was with Boston for 15 years, it’s understandable he couldn’t bring himself to sign with the franchise’s most famous rival.