The Los Angeles Lakers are set to host the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night and that game will mark the return of one of Staples Center’s most hated opponents, Paul Pierce. As a member of the Boston Celtics, Pierce battled Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in the 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals.
Of course, Pierce won’t be able to match up with Bryant as Kobe is out for the forseeable future with a torn rotator cuff. According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Pierce expressed sadness at Kobe’s latest setback:
It always saddens me. Kobe is one of my NBA brothers,” Pierce said on Tuesday after morning shootaround at Staples Center, hours before the Lakers (12-33) will host the Wizards (30-15) here. “For him to go down with injury, it always hurts.”
Pierce would also elaborate on what he and Kobe talk about on the court, and said that the league doesn’t have trash talker like he and Kobe anymore:
We’re one of the last two of our generation,” Pierce said. “That’s pretty much a lot of the things we talked about on the court, a little bit of a trash in there. We also said there’s no trash talkers in the league today coming up. It’s a generation that’s passing by and a lot of these guys are friends. I don’t think this new generation is competitive as we were with the past guys.”
Pierce said the reason for the lack of trash talkers is that the new generation spends too much time on computers and playing video games instead of going out to the park. Kobe (Philadelphia) and Pierce (Inglewood) both came up in areas known for their street ball legacies.
When he hits the floor at Staples Center, Pierce is likely to be greeted with a chorus of boos, but he — like many other of today’s biggest stars — has immense respect for Kobe and what he has done throughout his career.
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