‘I only argue with Kobes and LeBrons’: Paul Pierce’s ‘subtle, gangsta’ response to Amar’e Stoudemire trash-talking him

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

Former New York Knicks forward Wilson Chandler revealed an amazing story of a time Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce trash-talked Amar’e Stoudemire during a game.

During the trash talk, Pierce dismissed Stoudemire by saying that he should only trash-talk players like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

“When I was in New York and we had Amar’e,” Chandler said. “We was playing Boston in Boston. It was a close game. We was down like four with a couple minutes left or whatever. Somebody fouled Paul Pierce. So he at the line.”

Chandler explained that Pierce went into his usual routine at the free throw-line when Stoudemire told his teammates that they were going to get a miss out of Pierce. Chandler categorized it as a normal thing to say, not that Stoudemire was taking a shot at Pierce.

That’s when the Celtics legend became a savage.

“He said it and Paul Pierce stopped mid routine. And he just looked back over both shoulders. I’m like, ‘What the f— are you doing?’

“He looked back at Amar’e like, ‘Who you talking to? Me? You gotta be talking to Ray [Allen] or somebody. Because I done been in too many big games for me to miss these free throws right now. Matter of fact, I don’t even know why I’m arguing with you. I only argue with Kobes and LeBrons.’ Went back to his routine. Shot it. Made it. I was like, ‘What?’ And just ran back. I was like, ‘That’s the most subtle, gangsta s— ever.’”

Although injuries derailed Stoudemire’s time with the Knicks, there is no doubt that he was a solid player when he was with the franchise. During the 2010-11 season, Stoudemire averaged 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game for the Knicks.

Pierce clearly held himself to a level above by comparing himself to players like James and Bryant. Although Pierce only won one NBA title in his career, he clearly thought he was among the elite players in his era.

A Hall of Famer, Pierce had a terrific career playing for Boston, the Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets. A 10-time All-Star, Pierce had five seasons in Boston where he averaged over 25.0 points per game.

The Knicks and Celtics had a heated rivalry over the course of Pierce’s tenure in Boston, meeting twice in the playoffs after New York traded for star Carmelo Anthony during the 2010-11 season.

Pierce and Boston would get the best of New York in the first playoff series, but the Knicks won in the 2012-13 campaign, which ended up being Pierce’s last season in Boston.

James and Bryant both have more career accolades than Pierce, especially in the championships department.

Bryant won five NBA titles in his career, and James isn’t too far behind with four titles, winning his last one with the Lakers in the 2019-20 season. Bryant had two epic battles with Pierce in the NBA Finals, with the Lakers coming out victorious in one of those series.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.