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Strut and Saunter: How Much Swagger Does Boston Need?

Posted by Celticsfanatic (Celtics 17) on December 9, 2009 at 8:34 PM

A few weeks ago, our Boston Celtics were spiralling downward like a malfunctioning speeding jet. We'd hit a wall of bricks in the Phoenix Suns, a blazing-hot team that handed Boston their first defeat of the year. From there on out, things weren't looking good. Boston looked depleted and impoverished, stripped of their wealth of confidence and reduced to having to fight from behind, instead of ahead.


Last night, on the other hand, was a continuation of their seven, now eight-game winning streak. The C's played the Milwaukee Bucks at home, where they pulled away in the fourth quarter with a Superman performance out of Rajon Rondo and sidekick contribution from Kevin Garnett to win by nine. This win came without critical bench players such as Glen Davis and Marqius Daniels, as well as swingmen Tony Allen and Bill Walker. Therefore, it was another example that the C's can beat solid teams even with injuries. So they shouldn't need any extra injections of confidence, should they? A win, along with the realization that they can win even without key members of the squad should be enough to keep them going, correct?


Well, to answer that question, let's go back to the substantial root of this run. Boston had won two in a row, including a victory in New York that highlighted a Kevin Garnett game-winning jumper, going into a Celts-Raptors game at the Garden. The win at MSG and the subsequent trumping of Philadelphia had the Celtics in good spirits heading into this match.


Fast forward to late in the game. Paul Pierce had 16 points heading into the fourth quarter. After 35 seconds had elapsed from the fourth quarter clock, Pierce was in the process of trucking his way to the basket. Teeth bared, Pierce tore through his perimeter guard and penetrated through a knot of Raptors defenders. The last one standing was Chris Bosh, a proven big man and one who is significantly larger than Pierce himself. But Pierce wouldn't be denied. He continued his annihilation of Toronto in a single play by barreling through the fortification and ramming it down the basket's throat. Proceeding Pierce's landing was the awkward tumbling of Bosh, who looked to be elbowed in the head, and kneed in the cahones. In addition, there was also some contact involving his gut.


Talk about demolition.


However, ensuing the exciting dunk was something I wasn't too pleased to see. While Celtics fans present in the Garden were jumping out of their seats and others watching at home were cheering with an overzealous tone, mainly because they were glad to see that Pierce and the C's were indeed back, Pierce mocked Bosh. He mocked him in plain site, which resulted in the fair distribution of technical fouls -- one to Pierce, and one to his, at least for the moment, indignant coach Doc Rivers.


In essence, Pierce had been slightly crouched upon landing hard. He posed in his position, muscles flexed and lips pursed, and simply stared at Bosh. Stared at a fellow basketball player, who, by the way, was on the ground in what appeared to be some serious pain. While it was temporary, there's no excusing the fact that Bosh had been struck hard. Pierce still lingered, apparently unaware (or even worse -- aware) of what he was doing. Trainers rushed out to Bosh, whose back was then turned to Pierce and his eyes were excruciatingly shut.


Whether Bosh embellished the whole moment or not so people would forget about the dunk and pay attention to the fact that Pierce had just maimed him doesn't matter. He was on the ground. Whether it was severe pain that lasted or just a shocking pierce (pun not intended) of agony also really doesn't affect what it looked like in the aftermath. If Pierce didn't think he honestly hurt him that bad, that's fine, but he should have at least granted him a few minutes to regroup with his own organization. The incessant jeers and loud approbations of Celtics fans meant for Pierce interrupted the personal time he should've been given. Given, not just by Pierce, but by everyone in the arena.


What followed the events wasn't pretty either. You saw Rasheed Wallace grunt in satisfaction and playfully pound Pierce with a chest bump. You saw KG greet Pierce with his smug (albeit the fact that most of the time, yes, I do enjoy it) no-emotion glare. And most flamboyant of all, you saw Pierce flail his arms in triumph and let out a full-bellied battle cry.


Collecting my thoughts after a moment of being dumbfounded and somewhat disgusted, I glanced over at the chat I was taking part in, hosted by a few of my friends of the Celtics blogosphere, also owners of the blog Gino's Jungle. They were of course discussing the throwdown on Bosh, so I went on to chip in myself. Despite being disgruntled with the occurences carried out by my C's, I jokingly remarked to North Station Sports' Nick Gelso "Nick, Pierce threw an elbow to the stomach and head in the process. Tommy's aggravated with the call. lol."


However, after everyone had cooled down (including myself, who even though didn't think what Pierce did after the dunk was worthy of praise, still believed the dunk itself was pretty enrapturing), I commented: "I enjoyed the dunk, but the rest was unnecessary. Still, monster throw-down."


The rest of my thoughts unraveled after the GJ crew and followers contended my thoughts. They believed that the dunk and aftermath of the slam was what the Celtics needed to finally get them going. I argued my point for a while before realizing I was reiterating the same point after a couple posts. I finally said, "I'm not complaining [too much] [about the dunk], but I just hope that's not what "swag" means to us in the long run."


Here are some of the points I really want to drill to support my perspective:


"Are you honestly telling me you encourage crap like that [Pierce's staredown] if we win by 20 points? Again, Pierce is my favorite, and that was a monster dunk. Pluck is alright, tenacity is alright. But being a punk is not what it means to be a Celtic. A respective and respected competitor is what a Celtic is."


A reasonable and structured string of opinionated points, right? Sure, you can celebrate when the time is appropriate, but when an opposing player is on the ground, it's guilelessly out of the question. It's really just proper court etiquette (sounds a little fancy but here's the ground rules without getting into anything complex: 1), have respect for your teammates and challengers; 2), don't be a loudmouth or showboater when you can't back it up; 3) focus on winning first and proving to the other team as well as the people watching that you, individually, can play, later; and 4) understand that it's not all about the winning basket or who gets 20 points, but really about who emerges victorious -- don't get discouraged) and common sense.


"Bosh was ON THE GROUND and Pierce clearly didn't need to be there. He stayed there because he felt the dunk wasn't enough, though I don't know why. He stayed there because he WASN'T confident, he felt the need to show off. Arrogance, insecurity -- not the Paul Pierce I like to see."


Again, nothing too out of the ordinary or unexpected, correct? In my mind, Pierce hovered around Bosh because he wanted to make sure that the face of the Raptors had acknowledged who had just dunked on him. If the Celtics were winning, if Pierce didn't have the mindset he had from 1995-2007, that losing, succumbed demeanor, he wouldn't have stayed there. If you add one and one, you get two. Seriously, just take off the green glasses and take a good look what happened, and you'll find yourself with the same outcome I got.


"There's a difference between having energy (unlike the Red Sox, but like the Spurs), and choosing not to be the class act you can be (unlike both teams, mostly)."


One of the boys from GJ had interjected "We ain't the Spurs - can't just play for the world to love us." Beforehand, I replied "How many championships have the Spurs won this decade" to drive home my point that teams assured enough of themselves and reservedly convinced with their ability to win are the ones still going while the rest are at a dead stop. The issue of being egotistically intrepid is not something that arises within championship squads. At least not regularly or generally. Just observing the common build of teams of that level.


"I truly don't have much of a problem with the single play, just the fact that it's apparently what the team needs to get them going."


In retrospect, I really don't have much difficulty understanding why Pierce chose to do this. I also won't hold much of a grudge against Pierce for what he did when it is addressed that he is the team leader because I have recognized how he felt after the dunk. But the main problem here is the apparent need for punk moves and arrogant actions to get the team going. I think most people have discerned that I'm none too happy with the dunk, but even more frustrated with the Celtics fans' overview of the whole fiasco. One of the writers at Gino's Jungle told me "We need stuff like that to energize the team every so often."


Do we? Or are we once again blinded by our homerism? Think about this for a second: You're suggesting that it's revitalizing as a fan to see your own players instigating verbal wars? Even physical quarrels? C'mon now.


So what do you think fellow C's fans? Has the insolence gone far beyond the lines of intolerable or will we be rewarded in the long run? Don't forget, if it continues, you're going to be seeing more and more of these episodes throughout the season. It gets less and less exciting and more and more exasperating as it goes on. Can we handle it twice? Thrice? Beyond that point?


Only time will tell. We've only seen it once... but use past experiences of those losing C's to depict future disruptions. Not so glamourous anymore, eh, you rascals?


Thanks to Gino's Jungle for allowing me to call them out in this article. Now it's their turn to make me look like a buffoon.

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15 Comments

Reply North Station Sports
9:54 PM on December 9, 2009 
Perfect! I read it twice.

I agreed w you in the chat and I agree with you now. Call me an "old school" NBA fan (and I am) but I never got into the WWE NBA BS.

I love Pierce. I loved the dunk. I could have done without the "stare-down".

Far be it for me to preach "celtic-pride" to anyone but in my 21 years of obsessive following of the C's, it's always been apparent to me that the Celtics show their toughness through the way they play the game. Through teamwork, hardwork and, at times, playing thru the pain of injuries.

Sure McHale clotheslined Rambis and Parish beat the cry baby to tears but they were in the midst of a 7 game series, in an era that was WAY more physical.

After Bird stole the ball from Isiah you didn't see a dance off with Greg Kite. After Magic hit the baby hook in the paint, you didn't see a stare down worthy of a cage fight. When the Doctor went behind the backboard, he didn't do jumping jacks to emphasize the greatness of the play.

No. No need. The play itself did that and 30 years later we are still watching highlights of those great moments in nba history.

PS-- The Bird/Kite dance-off visual is pretty funny.
Reply B-PAUL
1:28 AM on December 10, 2009 
Like I said in the chat, no one needs to like us. We have to like ourselves. We are not out to impress anyone, we are out to raise banner 18. We need as much swagger as we can. You know why? Because usually if we have swagger, that means we are winning, and winning at a very good rate. You don't see a team like New Jersey having swagger. A team like the Celtics, yes, we want swagger. People already hate us, so why not make them hate us more?
Reply Matt Rury
1:33 AM on December 10, 2009 
Welcome to the team! Nice article...looking back on that game I didn't think Pierce's extra 2 seconds of standing there really warranted a technical or was a big deal whatsoever. I do believe that the Celtics need to have a chip on their shoulder in certain situations and who knows - maybe Bosh had been trash talking all game and Pierce was trying to get revenge. On the other hand, the addition of Rasheed seems to have affected KG, Perkins and Pierce who have all become more vocal to a fault this year.
Reply North Station Sports
7:32 AM on December 10, 2009 
"Swagger"

"SWWWAGGGGGEEEEEERRRRRRR"

I am so sick of hearing about it! "Celtics-swagger" originated in the 1960's when Cousy, Russell, Havlichek, Heinohn and Ramsey would warm up before game's with an air of invisibility. This "invisibility" was created through the Celtic-Mystique that developed through 11 championships in 13 years. Those guys never had to stare down an opponent! When Russell blocked a shot (and saved the possession), the block was more intimidating then any "stare-down" ever could have been.

The "Celtics-Swagger" crept into the 70's and re-established itself in the 80's through 5 Finals births and 8 EC Finals appearances in that decade. Those team's would be going through their pre-game warm ups and catch the opposing team staring at them in awe. Does anyone remember Bird's 60 point game against Atlanta? The opposing bench was cheering for Larry in disbelief of his dominance-- THAT IS "SWAGGER".

Not self imposed through bullying, showboating or taunting but forced upon the opposition through overwhelmingly dominant play.

You're right BPaul-- no one needs to like us. Naturally, people don't like the team that is beating up on their team. They do, however, need to respect us. Respect comes through WINNING and "Swagger" comes through winning! It's not the other way around! A team that is losing (or not playing well) and has "swagger" is not a impressive, they are a bully! "Swagger" doesn't create champions, champions creates "swagger"!

(WOW-- That was confusing--lol)

No one wants their team to bully opponents (do you?) and that's what Pierce's stare down of Bosh could be considered. The dunk in itself left enough of an impression on Bosh. Yes-- it was punishing enough. The stare down was just plain over-kill.

I want an 18th banner as much as any Celtics fanatic. However, I want a championship that can proudly hang next to the other 17. One that can hang proud because it was won on the same team philosophies that Red Auerbach created for the franchise...

Teamwork, Hardwork, Fundamentals, Celtic-Pride, refusal to be beaten and CONFIDENCE!

If you have those qualities, swagger comes naturally and is a term that our opponents use to describe us. It's not self imposed, it's not an act, it's the brimming confidence that comes from WINNING GAMES!

From Dictionary.Com:

bul⋅ly
1  /ˈbʊli/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [bool-ee] Show IPA noun, plural -lies, verb, -lied, -ly⋅ing, adjective, interjection
Use bully in a Sentence
See web results for bully
See images of bully
?noun
1. a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.
Reply 4SportBoston.com
9:04 AM on December 10, 2009 
Hey guys,

I personally missed this the other night and didn't see it first hand. But in all reality, what Pierce did sounds just like the kinds of things KG has done all of his career and maybe even more since he put the Green on.

And to be honest, that may be one of our most favorite things about KG is his tenacity and when he stares down an opponent or holds his ground to some rookie trying to move him.

I think what Pierce did was fine and really doesn't warrant so much conversation. This team came in with a mission and they are easily being put to the test by this Eastern Conference this year. If they don't run with a chip on their shoulder, they will get taken advantage of and other teams will look at them as another team getting older with no fire. I think Pierce is trying to take a page out of the Book of 'Sheed and KG and show that he still has that fire and he isn't going to back down to anyone.

It also helps that it was against the closest thing the C's have to an opponent in the Atlantic Division.
Reply North Station Sports
9:45 AM on December 10, 2009 
Didn't the POWER displayed in Pierce's dunk display that? OR was the stare-down that ensued what drive home the slam? I'm not sure.

Fact is, I want FIRE in my team. I want INTENSITY in the play of my team. I want my team to have a CHIP ON THEIR SHOULDER!

My problem lies with the constant confusion of "swagger" for bullying! Swagger is aire of confidence, an hora of invincibility. I feel that "hora" is on display every time the Celtics dominate opponents. A stare-down is not a quality defined in "swagger".

4SportBoston.com says...
Hey guys,

I personally missed this the other night and didn't see it first hand. But in all reality, what Pierce did sounds just like the kinds of things KG has done all of his career and maybe even more since he put the Green on.

And to be honest, that may be one of our most favorite things about KG is his tenacity and when he stares down an opponent or holds his ground to some rookie trying to move him.

I think what Pierce did was fine and really doesn't warrant so much conversation. This team came in with a mission and they are easily being put to the test by this Eastern Conference this year. If they don't run with a chip on their shoulder, they will get taken advantage of and other teams will look at them as another team getting older with no fire. I think Pierce is trying to take a page out of the Book of 'Sheed and KG and show that he still has that fire and he isn't going to back down to anyone.

It also helps that it was against the closest thing the C's have to an opponent in the Atlantic Division.
Reply 4 Sport Boston
9:52 AM on December 10, 2009 
I agree that it doesn't qualify as Swagger but it does make them look like they mean business. Dunk or no dunk, stare or no stare, it got the job done and the C's look hot again and it really got going at that point.

North Station Sports says...
Didn't the POWER displayed in Pierce's dunk display that? OR was the stare-down that ensued what drive home the slam? I'm not sure.

Fact is, I want FIRE in my team. I want INTENSITY in the play of my team. I want my team to have a CHIP ON THEIR SHOULDER!

My problem lies with the constant confusion of "swagger" for bullying! Swagger is aire of confidence, an hora of invincibility. I feel that "hora" is on display every time the Celtics dominate opponents. A stare-down is not a quality defined in "swagger".
Reply Red's Army
10:45 AM on December 10, 2009 
We can't have it both ways, boys.

We want fire... we want toughness... we want emotion...

Then we want them to keep all that in check at points where it all comes to a head.

Sorry, nope.

Basketball is an emotional, physical game. Catching a dunk on someone is RUSH. And you mean to tell me that at a moment where 18,000 people all just jumped up at the same time because THEIR human nature just sent their emotions flying.... you want the person at the center of that entire thing... the man who, in the heat of battle, rose up and did something extraordinarily spectacular and inspired the entire frenzy.... to just walk away.

Not happening. It's unfair to ask. And it's unfair to criticize them for it.

Paul Pierce didn't taunt. He didn't point and yell. He stared. He froze in his pose and stared. One combatant to another. "I just caught you".

It's raw emotion. And yes... maybe a little intimidation. "Think twice before you try to stop me again"

We fans need to check ourselves sometimes. We seem to want the impossible. Perfect gentlemen with killer instincts don't exist except in James Bond movies.

And let's not romanticize the past to try to make a point about the present. You can't just excuse away McHale's clothesline or Chief's punches. And Lord knows Larry Bird yapped as much as KG, albeit in a different way. If you haven't lived to watch the games of the past... don't try to use the past as an example to bash the present. You don't know. And if you heard the stories, you'd be shocked. Guys from all eras did things to intimidate and gain advantages.

The bottom line: If you want fire and toughness and emotion... you have to deal with some of the overflow. And it's not a bad thing. These things we see from players on the floor... it's not bad. We might think, from a society standpoint, that it's bad. But this isn't some JV team we're talking about here. This is professional sports. Its different. And we need to approach it differently.
Reply North Station Sports
11:01 AM on December 10, 2009 
Great points Red Army! I'm glad you commented. I love this sh#t! I agree w many of your points. I agree with their being no "switch" that can be turned on and off at command. I agree that fire and intensity comes w some baggage at times.

I have no problems and actually enjoy trash-talking when it can be backed up-- god knows Pierce and KG can back it up... Bird, well Bird was the legend. The guy bagged his trash. We saw it. We admired it.

I don't agree with unprovoked player stare-downs after just devastating the guy w a monster jam! The posterization of Bosh was enough in my book. The play stood alone, it needed no more emphasis. On the flip side, like you said, emotions take over at times and 18k crazed fans add to it. I am sure Pierce didn't try to intentionally hurt Bosh.

None-the-less, my opinion is solid. As is yours. We agree to disagree on this one.
Reply B-PAUL
12:19 PM on December 10, 2009 
Well said Reds. Like I said before if you are seeing the Celtics have "swagger" then that is usually going to mean we are playing well. And Nick COME ON MAN.. This is the NBA not a 3rd grade girls basketball game. If these guys can't handle a little bit of taunting without having tears drip from their eyes they might as well get out now.

Your making it sound like Pierce stabbed the guy or something while he was on the ground. It's the NBA, it's taunting, it's going to happen. By no way is it worse then Lebron shoving it down the Bulls throat by dancing while the game is still going on.

Like Red's said, it's raw emotion. If 18,000 people are going crazy then you are going to taunt a little bit. We don't need to impress society to win basketball games, let them hate us.
Reply North Station Sports
12:42 PM on December 10, 2009 
Ohhhhh I love this stuff! 3rd grade girls! LOL! I will respond to this when I get home.

PS- i spelled aura wrong (is that how u spell it? LOL)
Reply Celticsfanatic (Celtics 17)
4:14 PM on December 10, 2009 
After reading all the comments (Jesus Christ guys), I'm going to have to agree with both sides (that is, everyone against Nick). As I've said multiple times, in review, I don't have much of a problem with the individual play. Hell, you could argue I praised the dunk in the first few paragraphs. It was a clinic of how to orchestrate all the fire, frustration, into one play to get your team going (we'll get into what actually got the team pumped later).

But that's just the thing. Yes, I will admit I DO have a problem with the whole aftermath of it. Playing basketball myself, I can't deny that at times I've been a show-off. At times I've emphasized plays. But that doesn't change the fact that my team was respectful and respected. And I was respectful and respected as well in the end.

Let's run down the things that I'm really trying to point out here:

1) The fan's view that the dunk followed by the stare-down got the team going.

Reason: Not only am I upset that the stare-down was included in this supposed motivation, but the possibility of this spiraling into "The C's need to be arrogant and showy tonight so they can get the crew going with a flashy play or burst of superiority."

And superiority is fine. It's when you go a step further to shove it in the team's face when confidence within yourself is the example that should be set for the younger guys.

Also, for the LAST TIME people -- sure the stare down was the cherry on top for guys like Rasheed and KG, but for team as a whole? The dunk was what did it. They would be playing the same way without the five seconds of Pierce standing like a statue near Bosh.

2: I don't have a problem with pushing that fact that you just showed another guy up, but don't forget -- a man was on the floor here

Reason: You guys keep pointing out the days of Parish and McHale. Did the Chief run over to a guy and pummel him while he was on the floor? No. He inflicted the pain (in a much more physical game, just to further support my point), but he certainly didn't kick a guy when he was down.

How about McHale? Did he humiliate the player when he was already on the hardwood? No, he did what he basically had to do to garner some respect (the McHale situation is already conspicuously snowballing into completely different circumstances here), and was immediately separated.

Case in point. Bosh was on the ground. Pierce clowned around during that stretch.

3. Pierce had already GAINED respect -- he didn't need to go the extra mile

Reason: Again, going back to the Parish/McHale incidents. McHale and Parish were frustrated with the opposing player, or team. They went through with the so-called tasks because they needed to show who was alpha dog and who was getting abused.

Let's put it this way: guys like McHale and Parish would take ramming the ball into the other player's mouth any day, especially if its a fellow star like Bosh. Think about it -- better to get praised for your aggressiveness and on-court preponderance than show that you're somewhat vulnerable and impatient when it comes to taunting, right?

It repeatedly comes back to this point: It's really what happened before Pierce's short seconds of eminence, rather than the incident itself.

And guys, really, I gotta say, I can't take the whole "hate" thing anymore. That's like saying rob a bank because you're already wanted for murder. Sure, people don't like us, but we've ALWAYS been respected. Once AGAIN, I truly don't have a difficulty understanding the dunk, it's mainly the fan's perspective of it which morphs what really actually happened into some kind of circus of embarrassment surrounding Bosh. Pierce deserves credit for the dunk, and sure, he's allowed to live a little.

But what he doesn't deserve is the credit of firing up the team there.
Reply North Station Sports
4:35 PM on December 10, 2009 
Totally spot on.

I have nothing to add at this point.

PS-- This would have been a great topic for NSS one on one. lol.


Celticsfanatic (Celtics 17) says...
After reading all the comments (Jesus Christ guys), I'm going to have to agree with both sides (that is, everyone against Nick). As I've said multiple times, in review, I don't have much of a problem with the individual play. Hell, you could argue I praised the dunk in the first few paragraphs. It was a clinic of how to orchestrate all the fire, frustration, into one play to get your team going (we'll get into what actually got the team pumped later).

But that's just the thing. Yes, I will admit I DO have a problem with the whole aftermath of it. Playing basketball myself, I can't deny that at times I've been a show-off. At times I've emphasized plays. But that doesn't change the fact that my team was respectful and respected. And I was respectful and respected as well in the end.

Let's run down the things that I'm really trying to point out here:

1) The fan's view that the dunk followed by the stare-down got the team going.

Reason: Not only am I upset that the stare-down was included in this supposed motivation, but the possibility of this spiraling into "The C's need to be arrogant and showy tonight so they can get the crew going with a flashy play or burst of superiority."

And superiority is fine. It's when you go a step further to shove it in the team's face when confidence within yourself is the example that should be set for the younger guys.

Also, for the LAST TIME people -- sure the stare down was the cherry on top for guys like Rasheed and KG, but for team as a whole? The dunk was what did it. They would be playing the same way without the five seconds of Pierce standing like a statue near Bosh.

2: I don't have a problem with pushing that fact that you just showed another guy up, but don't forget -- a man was on the floor here

Reason: You guys keep pointing out the days of Parish and McHale. Did the Chief run over to a guy and pummel him while he was on the floor? No. He inflicted the pain (in a much more physical game, just to further support my point), but he certainly didn't kick a guy when he was down.

How about McHale? Did he humiliate the player when he was already on the hardwood? No, he did what he basically had to do to garner some respect (the McHale situation is already conspicuously snowballing into completely different circumstances here), and was immediately separated.

Case in point. Bosh was on the ground. Pierce clowned around during that stretch.

3. Pierce had already GAINED respect -- he didn't need to go the extra mile

Reason: Again, going back to the Parish/McHale incidents. McHale and Parish were frustrated with the opposing player, or team. They went through with the so-called tasks because they needed to show who was alpha dog and who was getting abused.

Let's put it this way: guys like McHale and Parish would take ramming the ball into the other player's mouth any day, especially if its a fellow star like Bosh. Think about it -- better to get praised for your aggressiveness and on-court preponderance than show that you're somewhat vulnerable and impatient when it comes to taunting, right?

It repeatedly comes back to this point: It's really what happened before Pierce's short seconds of eminence, rather than the incident itself.

And guys, really, I gotta say, I can't take the whole "hate" thing anymore. That's like saying rob a bank because you're already wanted for murder. Sure, people don't like us, but we've ALWAYS been respected. Once AGAIN, I truly don't have a difficulty understanding the dunk, it's mainly the fan's perspective of it which morphs what really actually happened into some kind of circus of embarrassment surrounding Bosh. Pierce deserves credit for the dunk, and sure, he's allowed to live a little.

But what he doesn't deserve is the credit of firing up the team there.
Reply B-PAUL
6:27 PM on December 10, 2009 
Graham, first things first, I never said that the stare down single handedly got the team going. What I said was that the dunk got the team going. Like Red's Army said earlier, when you have 18,624 fans going crazy plus your teammates, it's human nature to celebrate and taunt the other player.

The other thing is like I told Nick, this is not 3rd grade girls basketball here. This is the NBA, they are big boys and they should be able to handle a little bit of taunting, after all they all do it. You can't just expect Paul to walk away like nothing happened after throwing down a monsterous dunk like that. Paul probably had no idea that Bosh was "hurt" and was sending him the message for the next time he came towards the basket. The NBA not only requires great physical talent, but also mental talent. A lot of the game is in your head, Paul was simply trying to get into Bosh's head by taunting him a little bit.
Reply andy
10:02 AM on December 11, 2009 
Your looking way to far into it. Pierces adrenaline was flowing. Bosh is soft.