Anybody who was expecting Paul Pierce to show some culpability and contrition for his actions yesterday was apparently mistaken. Paul gave his take on yesterday's ejection, telling reporters :
"I got a bad break with the calls," Pierce said after practice. "I didn't think I did anything to warrant a second technical. I guess jibber and jabber by 'Q' was overexaggerated and they decided to kick us both out."
"It's a tough line," Pierce said. "You don't want to come off as being intimidated. In my case, I felt like I got intentionally fouled three times in a row. Teams are going to try to do that to us. We are a team that's not going to back down from anybody.
"But at the same time, I've got to do a better job of keeping my composure. But in my eyes, I didn't feel like I was losing my composure. It was a judgment of the ref."
That sounds an awfully lot like a guy saying "I didn't do anything wrong", and who seems to be justifying his continued trash talk with QRich. It's this macho, "not going to be intimidated" mindset that has been Pierce's downfall in the past, as Doc alludes to here :
"[A day later], I didn’t like it even more," he said after yesterday’s practice. "But we’ve approached it. We’ve talked about it, and it’s over.
"But we have a history, and I don’t forget that. Of all the things that were involved, we lost that Indiana series because of composure," he added, harkening back to Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker getting caught up in the madness. "And I’ll never forget that lesson. We have to understand that. This is a completely different group obviously, but there are still lessons to be learned. And we have to watch ourselves, because people are going to attack us. And they should."
Doc is right on here. Paul needs to be the bigger man in situations like this. The refs had specifically warned both Paul and QRich about their behavior, and the refs were doing a good job of calling fouls on Richardson (four fouls in just over two minutes, including three in 10 seconds). Paul should have just let the refs continue to do their jobs; instead, he got into a back-and-forth with QRich which cost us our best offensive player. Paul's past immaturity almost cost us a playoff game once. He's come a long way since that point, but if his words here are any indication, it seems that he still has at least some distance to go before truly "getting it". Leaders don't rise to the bait of instigators; they lead their team by example. Let's hope that after sufficient time to cool off, Paul can absorb that lesson.