There’s hardly any love lost between LeBron James and Paul Pierce and their names have been dominating the headlines together since Pierce left the Los Angeles Lakers star off his NBA Top 5 last week.
The former Boston Celtics small forward has taken a lot of heat for the exclusion, with Kendrick Perkins stepping in to explain the apparent dislike following the alarming comments from the player-turned-analyst.
So there was that spitting incident Perkins described – Pierce has already admitted to it – but there’s also another episode in which LeBron was so incensed, he blew steam at his own mother.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were going up against a 66-win Celtics team in the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals and, in Game 4, Pierce committed a foul on James that sent them both reeling into the crowd. LeBron’s mother, Gloria James, got pretty excited over the foul and wouldn’t relent even with Kevin Garnett trying to calm her down.
An equally hot LeBron shouted, “Sit yo’ a** down!” He kept his temperature up thereafter, helping the Cavs overcome the Celtics with an 88-77 victory but they would eventually lose the series. The Celtics went on to beat the Lakers in the Final to give the likes of Pierce, Perkins and Garnett their first and only championship.
Speaking after the game, a contrite LeBron told the media he felt pretty bad about the comment.
“I told her to sit down, in some language I shouldn’t have used,” he said. “Thank God today wasn’t Mother’s Day. All I could think about is her. … I know my mother. It’s fine, we’re good.”
Pierce, meanwhile, has taken another shot at James, asserting the four-time MVP underachieved during his spell with the Miami Heat. James helped fire the Heat to four Finals appearances and two championships in four seasons, but the retired veteran reckons they should have won at least three titles .