Paul Pierce: Warriors ‘choked’ in Finals by blowing 3-1 lead to Cavs
Paul Pierce made his feelings known about whether the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Finals or if the Golden State Warriors choked in bid for a second-straight NBA title by squandering a 3-1 series lead.
The Los Angeles Clippers veteran was forwarded that very question by Bill Simmons during an appearance on the HBO show “Any Given Wednesday.”
“Oh man,” Pierce replied before a brief pause. “Golden State choked! Like, seriously? 3-1? 3-1? You’re not supposed to lose. 3-1 you should never lose. Golden State choked.”
The Warriors became the first team in NBA history to lose in a Finals after staking a 3-1 series lead, so Pierce arguably has a legitimate point. Then again, the presence of a highly motivated LeBron James made the challenge of holding a huge series lead that much more difficult.
Pierce, an NBA title winner in 2008 with the Boston Celtics, was also asked by Simmons if he ever was on a team that blew a 3-1 lead.
“Never,” Pierce said. “That would never happen.”
Pierce isn’t the first NBA player, analyst or pundit to rail against the Warriors for blowing it against the Cavaliers, nor will he be the last. The Warriors, though, seem to draw motivation from their doubters and critics … just ask Charles Barkley.
For what it’s worth, Golden State will be able to exact revenge, as it were, against Pierce for his choking talk when the Clippers and Warriors face-off four times during the NBA season with the first match-up coming on Dec. 7 in Los Angeles.