Paul Pierce has been a longtime rival of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The now-Clippers forward, who is playing his final NBA season, has publicly come out and criticized Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors on multiple occasions.
While joining “Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons” on HBO, Pierce was asked whether he believes the Cavs came out and won the 2016 NBA Finals or if the Warriors choked it away. Here’s what he had to say.
“Oh man… Golden State choked,” said Pierce throwing his arms forward in disbelief. “I mean, 3-1? You’re not supposed to lose. 3-1, you should never lose. Golden State choked.
“Never. That would never happen,” said Pierce on blowing a 3-1 lead.
In saying the Warriors choked, Pierce not only takes a shot at them for not being able to close out, but also discredits the Cavs as if the incredible offensive and defensive show they put on in Games 5-7 wasn’t the reason the Warriors lost. Obviously, Cavs fans have been making the “blew a 3-1 lead” jokes all summer, but that’s because Cleveland became the first team to ever overcome that deficit in the NBA Finals.
With the Warriors up 3-1, Golden State looked like they were in complete command with home-court advantage, LeBron James averaged 36.3 points, 12 rebounds, 9.7 assists, three steals, and three blocks over the final three games. Alongside James was Kyrie Irving, who also put in 30 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists over those last three games.
The Warriors didn’t play as they had all regular season, but you better believe the Cavs excellent play had just a little something to do with that.