In one of the more surprising, non-LeBron free agency moves this offseason - Paul Pierce wound up signing with the Washington Wizards for two years, $11 million in July.
Kevin Garnett was pissed. Nets fans were rip bleep. Celtics fans were saddened.
On that last part, there was a train of thought that Pierce would return to the Celtics to close out his career, but with Boston nowhere close to contending right now, Pierce chose to go to a team that seems destined for the 3, 4 or 5 seed in the East for the next two years. Good for him. Good for the Wizards.
But fans of the Wiz had to be irked Sunday, when they saw the big Boston farewell to Yankees icon Derek Jeter. Dr. Charles Steinberg, the man behind all of the Boston Red Sox' pre-game ceremonies that ALWAYS go at least 15 minutes too long, was at it again on Sunday as he brought out not only former Red Sox stars but Bruins, Patriots and Celtics stars as well. (Ya know, because Troy Brown and Jeets were just so damn tight.)
With Rajon Rondo nursing a broken hand from
a trampoline accident falling in the shower at home and with the great Vitor Faverani apparently unavailable, the Red Sox turned to a star from the Celtics' not-so-distant-past to fill the void. Yes, Paul Pierce got the call. And yes, Paul Pierce did not hesitate in donning his former colors in the heart of Boston's sporting world on Yawkey Way. Pierce wore a red Boston hat with a green Celtics warmup jacket that read the familiar "Pierce" on the back.
Here's some of the online backlash:
#lrt I could've sworn Paul Pierce played for the Wizards.
— G. Phil (@_GDPhil_) September 28, 2014
Paul Pierce wears Celtics jacket to Derek Jeter's final game http://t.co/BUm3en9uam — Wizards Rumors (@Wizards_Rumors) September 28, 2014
Paul Pierce, el refuerzo perfecto. http://t.co/IrWvAc7Ch2 — Washington Wizards (@Wizards_snba) September 28, 2014
“@RockEmApparel: Paul Pierce with 0 regard for the Washington Wizards at today's Red Sox game pic.twitter.com/UVaNSqgHNi”@KaiWallen11 — chris wallen (@wtribe5) September 28, 2014
Wtf? RT @BeyondTheBuzzer: Wizards' Paul Pierce in Celtics gear at Fenway for Derek Jeter's last game: pic.twitter.com/1sPhD05XkH — ✌ The 23 ✌ (@The23_) September 28, 2014
Cut 'em! @adammcginnis @BeyondTheBuzzer: Wizards' Paul Pierce in Celtics gear at Fenway for Derek Jeter's last game: pic.twitter.com/TojVU78SJC”
— Bryan Weaver (@BryanWeaverDC) September 28, 2014
Paul Pierce plays for Wizards, But got on Celtics gear shaking Jeter's hand? Someone please explain this
— jorey (@jstacks0412) September 28, 2014
Paul Pierce who plays for the wizards, wore a celtics jacket today, disgrace
— Everett Golson (@jarrettDhood) September 28, 2014
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS