Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett vs. the Knicks
Paul Pierce will miss Thursday’s game with a broken bone in his right hand, and it’s a shame. In 15 years in Boston, Pierce consistently torched the Knicks, starting with a 24-point performance in MSG his rookie season. The Truth has nine 30+ point games at MSG, and his per-game averages against the Knicks are above his career averages in most categories, including points, rebounds, and assists. Pierce hits big shots against the Knickerbockers and taunted fans at MSG with kisses, bows, and an airplane celebration that nearly killed Nate Robinson.
Since coming to the Nets, Pierce has copped to hating the Knicks with a passion, contributing his fair share of trash talk to the NYC rivalry. The considerable hatred he brings to the rivalry might be even deeper had the Knicks not stunk for most of Pierce’s career.
The aughts were a lost decade for the Knicks, and Pierce has only faced them twice in the playoffs, both times in the first round. Boston swept New York in the 2011 first round and the Knicks responded by ending Pierce’s 15-year tenure in Beantown with a 4-2 series victory last year.
Kevin Garnett’s contribution to the Knicks rivalry is not as storied as Pierce’s borough beef, but it may be more entertaining. During a January 2013 Celtics victory over the Knicks at MSG, KG and Melo jostled physically and trash-talked throughout, even earning matching technicals at one point. OK, so that’s pretty standard fare for KG, but things got weird after the game: Melo went through the MSG tunnels searching for KG, even waiting for Garnett by the Celtics team bus. The NBA does not look kindly on such activities and Melo was suspended for a game.
Things got even weirder when reports surfaced that what got the Knicks star so heated was that Garnett allegedly said Melo’s wife Lala Vasquez tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios. All parties involved denied these claims, but it was out there, and the internet had a field day.
This Thursday’s game could have been so much fun. But alas, (3-13) vs (5-13).