The Truth doesn't want to share his night

Ale Xander

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Outside of Boston (and NBA nerds) the story of this nationally televised game will be Thomas' return to Boston for the first time as a player. ESPN/ABC will be hyping that just as much, if not more than their employee getting his number retired, IT video tribute or not. Hell, most casual NBA fans won't even care to see the retirement ceremony.

Once again, a quick video tribute will do almost nothing to detract from the team recognizing Pierce in front of the fans who care about him.
this is BS, especially since Pierce is now an ABC/ESPN employee. The story of the pregame will be on PP. TRUTH.
 

bankshot1

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Why should Pierce have to share a spotlight with IT?

He shouldn't. The night is his, was scheduled to be his, and his alone.

It will be interesting to see how this gets brokered, but if IT ends up with hurt feelings again tough shit.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Bradley got a video tribute right before tip-off. Just like what IT would have gotten the other night.

I am with PP on this, but don't understand the hate that IT is getting. (in the issue of a "night"... It would never be an IT "night". It was always going to be a special introduction and a video). It's childish if he wants it on PP night and he shouldn't get it, but he is a huge part of this franchise. How many fans started watching the Celtics again on a gamely basis because of him. I did. He reinvigorated the fan base.
When it did become a "thing" that ex-players get a video tribute? Don't recall hearing anything about KO's tribute or Amir's tribute but maybe that was because it wasn't a big enough deal for anyone to mention?

To me, it's like a wedding. It's PP's night and it's up to him. It doesn't have to be logical or rationale to everyone but if there's anything he's earned, it's the right to decide what happens on the evening they retire his jersey.
 

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When it did become a "thing" that ex-players get a video tribute? Don't recall hearing anything about KO's tribute or Amir's tribute but maybe that was because it wasn't a big enough deal for anyone to mention?

To me, it's like a wedding. It's PP's night and it's up to him. It doesn't have to be logical or rationale to everyone but if there's anything he's earned, it's the right to decide what happens on the evening they retire his jersey.
FWIW:

Garnett:

Amir (with Raptors, don't see one from Celtics):
 

NoXInNixon

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I still don't see why it couldn't have been done when he came this week. He says it's because he wanted his family to be here to see it. What kind of unbreakable previous engagement could they have had that was more important? And even if they did, it's a stupid little video. If his family wants to see it, it will be up on Youtube the next day.

The Celtics made an offer to show a video, IT declined, so he doesn't get one. Let's move on.
 

Captaincoop

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Word.

I’m kind of disgusted by the willingness of some here to throw IT under the bus so quickly. It’s sickening.

The best solution here is for ITs people, Paul’s people, and the Celtics to put their heads together and come up with a mutually agreeable solution. Whatever that happens to be, I’d be fine with that outcome.

Paul Pierce is a legendary Celtic in the mold of Havlicek, McHale, Parish, Cowens, and everyone else short of Russell and Bird. He should not be asked to deal with this. He is coming back to be celebrated and honored - he shouldn't have to be sending representatives to meetings to negotiate with Isaiah Thomas about how and when to also honor Thomas that night. It's absurd and insulting.

These stupid tribute videos are a marketing gimmick for the team. The fact that IT told them he didn't want one the other night should be the end of this. It's obnoxious of him to be asking to move it to another date.

"We love ya, Cooz!"

"And also you, Bailey Howell!"
 

Reardons Beard

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If he manned up and acted like a professional after the trade I'd be totally 180 on this
Au contraire, it is completely reasonable of him. It's just an unfortunate coincidence that the only other opportunity happened to land on Pierce's day.
Nah. It's absurd. The team chooses to honor him and therefore it is up to the team.

Paul Pierce is a Hall of Fame player and one of the greatest Celtics of all time. That transcends "one or two good years." Paul Pierce night is for The Truth and if IT can't handle that, too bad.
 

Eddie Jurak

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If he manned up and acted like a professional after the trade I'd be totally 180 on this

Nah. It's absurd. The team chooses to honor him and therefore it is up to the team.

Paul Pierce is a hall of fame player and one of the greatest Celtics of all time. That transcends "one or two good years." Paul Pierce night is for The Truth and if IT can't handle that, too bad.
There's a lot of supposition going on here. Also, the idea that IT didn't "man up and act like a professional after the trade" is beyond absurd.

I don't think this needs to be a real controversy. IT can get by without the video on 2/11. PP can continue on with a fulfilled and satisfying life even if it does happen that day.

The idea that to be a Celtics fan one must choose one or the other is jaw-droppingly stupid.
 

Captaincoop

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There's a lot of supposition going on here. Also, the idea that IT didn't "man up and act like a professional after the trade" is beyond absurd.

I don't think this needs to be a real controversy. IT can get by without the video on 2/11. PP can continue on with a fulfilled and satisfying life even if it does happen that day.

The idea that to be a Celtics fan one must choose one or the other is jaw-droppingly stupid.
A Celtics fan can choose one or the other...or just ignore a thread where people have chosen one or the other.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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this is BS, especially since Pierce is now an ABC/ESPN employee. The story of the pregame will be on PP. TRUTH.
I am going to bow out from the thread because this seems to be a bigger deal to some people than I thought it would.

In the end, all we are talking about is a brief highlight video and the only real thing its going to crowd out is some of the focus on Green or Dance team activities. Had Pierce never raised the issue, I doubt even the biggest Truth fans would have batted an eyelash at the Celtics running a quick IT highlights package on 34 retirement night.

That said, if you don't think the world wide leader would hype Thomas return to the court in Boston for the first time this season, I have a thread to show you. The game is a Sunday afternoon in February, after the Superbowl and before March Madness. In short, its going to attract a fair number of casual sports fans who likely won't know or care about Paul Pierce or his jersey retirement. The product, for better or worse, is on the floor that day and it involves conference rivals that traded star players with one another months after meeting in a penultimate playoff series. The fact that Thomas was clearly upset after being dealt from Boston only makes it all the more juicy.

Cavs fans will tune in to see if their team can beat the Celtics in Boston at full strength after dropping the last game on the back-end of a back-to-back and lock in the tiebreaker for the best record in the East (in the event that the teams have an identical record). Non Cavs/Celtics NBA fans will tune in to see a good game and if Thomas goes off on the team that forsook him. And casual sports fans will just tune in for a competitive game. A good many of the aforementioned folks may openly dislike Paul Pierce too.

ESPN/ABC can hype Pierce's jersey retirement all they want but it will not be the story of this game for the majority of non-Boston fans tuning in.
 

Ale Xander

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PP didn't raise the issue. IT did by passing on 1/3 and then talking the disrespect game.
 

DrewDawg

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PP was just on ESPN pregame and reiterated it. In fairness, he was asked.
 

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One might infer disrespect from Thomas to Pierce for Thomas requesting his tribute video on the night of Pierce's moment in the sun.

That assumes Thomas knew the next visit was actually Pierces moment in the sun. I don't think Thomas knew, but now that he must, one would think Thomas would be as interested in a solution that doesn't offend Pierce. After all, asking to be recognized for two plus years of effort for a team on the night they are trying to recognize a fifteen year title winning franchise player isn't a real good look. Thomas appears to be a good guy, they'll figure something out.

Edit: misread the bolded - I don't think IT has claimed to be disrespected by the video topic - but by the original trade stuff.
 

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I wonder if PP realizes that there is also a basketball game that day between the Celtics and Cavaliers with LeBron James, that folks will be watching. I hope that doesn't distract from "his" night too much.
 

lars10

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I wonder if PP realizes that there is also a basketball game that day between the Celtics and Cavaliers with LeBron James, that folks will be watching. I hope that doesn't distract from "his" night too much.
this post is beyond ridiculous
 

Big John

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Yes it is. Pierce is being honored. They can do Thomas next season as he didn’t want to do it this week. Pierce is an all time great Celtic, Thomas can wait.
Yes, and this should be obvious to Celtics management, who should rearrange the schedule.
 

DrewDawg

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Just to be devil's advocate, because I'm with PP on this, couldn't they move PP's tribute to, like, any other night?
 

The Needler

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Just to be devil's advocate, because I'm with PP on this, couldn't they move PP's tribute to, like, any other night?
Assuming you're being serious, and aside from the absurdity of a last-minute change to a future hall of famer's ceremony to accommodate the travel plans of an opponent's wife to see a two minute highlight reel...this was announced in August. In addition to the plans the Celtics have drawn up, there are people including family, friends, and fans of PP who bought tickets, made flight plans, etc. for it. It's a big deal.
 

lexrageorge

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We're talking a 2 minute video segment at a time when everyone is getting up to use the rest room. I still don't see how it detracts at all from the Paul Pierce retirement ceremony.
 

The Needler

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We're talking a 2 minute video segment at a time when everyone is getting up to use the rest room. I still don't see how it detracts at all from the Paul Pierce retirement ceremony.
Your opinion has been noted. But Paul Pierce has now publicly stated on multiple occasions that he does not want that two-minute bathroom segment on the night of his ceremony. Whose opinion should carry the day?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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We're talking a 2 minute video segment at a time when everyone is getting up to use the rest room. I still don't see how it detracts at all from the Paul Pierce retirement ceremony.
Agreed.

Your opinion has been noted. But Paul Pierce has now publicly stated on multiple occasions that he does not want that two-minute bathroom segment on the night of his ceremony. Whose opinion should carry the day?
Logic should. The day after this event, 99% of folks will be talking about the Paul Pierce ceremony the team put on for him. He's acting like a bride or groom who planned his or her whole wedding and felt upstaged by a sibling announcing their pregnancy during their speech. It's not the same thing, Paul.
 

The Needler

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Agreed.



Logic should. The day after this event, 99% of folks will be talking about the Paul Pierce ceremony the team put on for him. He's acting like a bride or groom who planned his or her whole wedding and felt upstaged by a sibling announcing their pregnancy during their speech.
Sure, it's a lot like that. And like a bridezilla, while some of us might find it trivial, without him, there is no party. When you follow this to the end, you're left with the question of who you would rather not be pissed off--Paul or IT--the bride, or cousin Phil's hot new girlfriend who wants to wear a white dress. And that's a pretty easy answer for me.
 

RetractableRoof

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Agreed.

Logic should. The day after this event, 99% of folks will be talking about the Paul Pierce ceremony the team put on for him. He's acting like a bride or groom who planned his or her whole wedding and felt upstaged by a sibling announcing their pregnancy during their speech. It's not the same thing, Paul.
This is a pretty good analogy. I tried to come up with something, but this nails it. Here's the difference between your analogy and what is happening. In that analogy IT4 springs the news that he is expecting during the event, then you'd expect Pierce to smile gracefully and be happy for IT4. But this not in the moment. The parallel would be IT4 telling Pierce in advance that he's going to make an announcement during the wedding, and Pierce simply saying choose a better moment for your news - I want to enjoy my day. That would be/is a reasonable take for Pierce and anyone painting him as the bad guy here while IT is driving the issue is doing so unfairly.

Fan love is not a zero sum thing. There is room for both players to be recognized by the fans. How many times have the Celtics had an event where there is wave after wave of applause because of the presence of the Celtics player royalty. They all share in the spotlight, some obviously more than others. But this is different. It has been marked and designated the "Paul Pierce" night. And clearly many fans who appreciate IT4 still think Pierce deserves his solo moment in the sun. IT4 is driving the issue - it would be simple for him to make a course correction here.

In the end Pierce doesn't have any means of changing things so both he and IT get what they want. He wants a day of his own. He likely wants IT4 to get his video. I'm guessing the Pierce Night planning is done except for details. As noted above travel accommodations for a huge number of people are likely already complete. Fans have made plans. Like the wedding example he can't change the date, he can't do anything to make the issue go away - except by giving up what he wants - a day of his own.

Pierce shouldn't be getting put in this position, it's up to IT4 to gracefully avoid the issue, which he probably will.

Edit: Fix quote
 

DavidTai

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I look at it like this:

They offered it on IT4's -first- night, -he- declined. The next available night is booked for someone else, but he wants to have it -then- anyway.

He's the diva here, not Paul Pierce.
 

The Social Chair

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I look at it like this:

They offered it on IT4's -first- night, -he- declined. The next available night is booked for someone else, but he wants to have it -then- anyway.

He's the diva here, not Paul Pierce.
He was also acting like a diva for not playing and giving his team minutes off the bench (which they clearly needed).

 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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He was also acting like a diva for not playing and giving his team minutes off the bench (which they clearly needed).

The Cavs were on a second night of a back-to-back and Thomas played his first game of the season the night prior with minutes restriction. The Cavs medical staff/Thomas' camp didn't want him to play two nights in a row because they want to ease him into the NBA schedule so he is ready when the real season begins in April.

People can fault IT for his request about the video but calling him a diva for how he is managing his comeback from a serious injury is a bit much.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The Cavs were on a second night of a back-to-back and Thomas played his first game of the season the night prior with minutes restriction. The Cavs medical staff/Thomas' camp didn't want him to play two nights in a row because they want to ease him into the NBA schedule so he is ready when the real season begins in April.

People can fault IT for his request about the video but calling him a diva for how he is managing his comeback from a serious injury is a bit much.
Yes.
 

RetractableRoof

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The Cavs were on a second night of a back-to-back and Thomas played his first game of the season the night prior with minutes restriction. The Cavs medical staff/Thomas' camp didn't want him to play two nights in a row because they want to ease him into the NBA schedule so he is ready when the real season begins in April.

People can fault IT for his request about the video but calling him a diva for how he is managing his comeback from a serious injury is a bit much.
Except it was widely asked in the week before the pair of games: knowing that Cleveland wouldn't be likely to need anything from him to win versus Portland, and would likely benefit from his efforts versus Boston the next night - Why not play in Boston in lieu of the game in Portland? He responded with a quote like the one above. He put himself before his teammates in his choice. In the big picture Cleveland may not care about the game, but he still made the choice.

I don't like or often use the word diva, so I won't. But maybe a better word was selfish in choosing which of the two nights he would play? Regardless of the label, he put his own interests before his teammates (maybe even with their approval - who knows). Knowing he would have limited minutes he chose to play against Portland instead of contributing against Boston - because he wanted his return to Boston to be a dominant performance. It isn't hard to view that as being a d... well, pick your label.

Edit: Verbiage and one more sentence.
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Except it was widely asked in the week before the pair of games: knowing that Cleveland wouldn't be likely to need anything from him to win versus Portland, and would likely benefit from his efforts versus Boston the next night - Why not play in Boston in lieu of the game in Portland? He responded with the quote above. He put himself before his teammates in his choice. In the big picture Cleveland may not care about the game, but he still made the choice.

I don't like or often use the word diva, so I won't. But maybe a better word was selfish in choosing which of the two nights he would play? Regardless of the label, he put his own interests before his teammates (maybe even with their approval - who knows).
I am not sure that he put himself above the team in the strictest sense. Thomas making his first appearance of the season against the Celtics wouldn't be the wisest choice for him - easing himself back in against Portland at home made much more sense than going into the Garden in Boston. Why add that pressure to his first game back?

Regardless, we are in two camps now - team Pierce and team IT (I am with EJ in the sense that I won't choose - I love them both). I think they both contributed to this big to-do about nothing but now its a thing. And that just sucks.
 

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I hope when Feb 11 rolls around this amounts to a tempest in a teapot. That someone has made a simple statement making all of this moot.

I don't think you have to pick a camp, there is enough love by fans for both players. But I don't see the harm in having an opinion that one of the two players you like made a minor mis-step in off the court dealings. In essence we are all nitpicking about social graces and the egos of people we've most likely never met.

I do think that IT4 is wearing on fans with things though (i.e. Mike Gorman's comments), and should just move on to being the best Cavalier he can be instead of worrying about anything Celtic related at this point.
 

Bosox1528

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Paul Pierce has made his opinion clear. I think it's an embarassment that we even had to get to this point where Pierce has to look like the bad guy in public. The answer to Isaiah should've been no.
 

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And I'm not saying I think IT4 is correct here. I do think he should have made his season return one night later and had it been here against the C's, as that would have solved many problems. And it wouldn't have hurt the Cavs to have him play the 2nd night of the B2B instead of the first.

But it might have hurt the Celtics if he played in that game.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I am not sure that he put himself above the team in the strictest sense. Thomas making his first appearance of the season against the Celtics wouldn't be the wisest choice for him - easing himself back in against Portland at home made much more sense than going into the Garden in Boston. Why add that pressure to his first game back?

Regardless, we are in two camps now - team Pierce and team IT (I am with EJ in the sense that I won't choose - I love them both). I think they both contributed to this big to-do about nothing but now its a thing. And that just sucks.
Yes - it would not have been in the Cavs best interests to have IT debut against the Celtics. I hope we hear nothing about this from now until the Feb 11th and than it gets resolved behind closed doors. As long as that happens, I don't really care what is done.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Well, IT3 is, in fact, a diva...


For those on mobile - from Isaiah Thomas via Twitter: I'd like to thank the Celtics for their gracious offer to play a video tribute on Feb 11th celebrating my 3yrs in Boston. But since it appears this has caused some controversy w/ Paul Pierce's night I'd ask the Celtics instead to focus all of their attention on #34's career.
 

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I love the kid and doubt he realized he’d be interfering with PP night when he originally deferred on the tribute until his next visit. This act just makes me like him more!
 

Kull

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Seeing two beloved ex-players pitted against each other and treated as selfish divas by the media - over an honors ceremony - is beyond aggravating. Especially because neither is really at fault. The Celtics organization fucked.this.up.
 

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Holy shit, I can’t even believe this is a debate.

Ainge fucked this up. Likely just an oversight on dates, but no, if you’re not going to make the night 100% about Pierce then don’t do it.

IT was fun and helped the turnaround. He’s a great player when healthy and assuming a different system doesn’t impact his game. He’s not a HoFer. He didn’t win a ring. He was here’s for 2.5 years. He doesn’t have any business being on the screen when PP gets his number retired.

To be frank, I see no reason why he needs a tribute video to begin with. I get that he was electric, the emotion he brought, etc. But Jesus, this feels so gratuitous to begin with.

Being critical of PP seems insane to me. IT should say thank you and do it when the team offered originally. He chose not to - I’m sorry, flying your family out is not an excuse. He’s manned up and done the right thing, but criticizing PP is just idiotic imo. Someone else made the wedding comp - it’s his day. There’s being a diva and there’s just plain stealing attention. I don’t blame anyone other than the Cs, because everyone seems to get it now. I just don’t think PP should be getting shit over it.
 

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While I agree this is on the Celtics...Ainge? Does he worry about marketing too?
 

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Rajon Rondo weighs in

"What has he done?” Rondo asked reporters when giving his take on the C's honoring Thomas any night, according to Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. Reporters then told Rondo about Thomas helping lead the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals, to which Rondo replied, “Oh, that’s what we celebrate around here?

"This is the Boston Celtics. This isn’t the Phoenix Suns, no disrespect to any other organization, but you don’t hang conference titles. Do we hang going to the conference finals? What do we hang here?” Rondo continued. And when a reporter replied with the obvious answer to his question (title banners), Rondo decided to shut down any further analysis with a simple, "OK, cool."
Emphasis is mine
 

mauf

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Seeing two beloved ex-players pitted against each other and treated as selfish divas by the media - over an honors ceremony - is beyond aggravating. Especially because neither is really at fault. The Celtics organization fucked.this.up.
I don’t see how they “fucked it up.” They presumably chose the Cleveland game to honor PP because they knew it would be on national TV, and also because it worked for scheduling reasons. I’m sure they didn’t anticipate that IT would have a POV as to when they showed a 2-minute highlight montage. And I’m sure they wanted people around the league to know that they didn’t coldly ignore IT’s return, so there was little choice but to make it known that IT had been offered a tribute during Cleveland’s first trip to Boston and had politely declined.

If you knew in advance how everything would play out, you would’ve surprised IT with the tribute back in January and been done with it, but clairvoyance isn’t a reasonable standard by which to judge C’s management.
 

lexrageorge

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I still don't get the overreaction here. The Celtics offered IT a video tribute, which is hardly the crime of the century. IT turned it down and made a request. Turned out the alternative "conflicted" with another player's night. Not sure how a 2 minute video conflicts with anything, but, sure, Pierce will be a Hall of Famer, etc. So, PP gets the night to himself, which is fine. And now everyone has moved on, realizing there will probably be another chance of a 2 minute video in 2018-19 sometime.