Sunday, July 13, 2014

Thoughts on the Occasion of Paul Pierce Signing With the Washington Wizards Basketball Club

Yesterday the Washington Wizards signed forward Paul Pierce to a 2 year, $11 Million deal that will slot into the team's mid-level exception. This is a perfectly good signing, Paul Pierce is a perfectly capable small forward and the Wizards needed one of those. He'll look funny in horizontal stripes. But you're not here for salary distribution analysis: you're here for a widening of your perspectives. A telescope that lets you see all the way across the ocean and gives you a new sense of how small the world really is.

Paul Pierce's nickname should be "The Tooth."

Now I know you are in a state of shock right now. You feel like the astronauts who saw Mother Earth from space. Just just in case you don't, if this new reality is too profound for you to absorb completely and you are rejecting it as a child would bad tasting medicine, here are some key points:

1. HE LOOKS LIKE A TOOTH. He's got a squarely-shaped body, just like a tooth. Here a picture for comparison's sake:


2. He plays like a tooth getting yanked out by a child. Watch him get busy:

Pierce catches the ball against the defender. The he either imposes his weight on them, a hard push against the tooth to rip the big connective tissue, or moves his feet really quickly, wiggling the tooth back and forth really fast to loosen the whole area up. Then he yanks himself up in the air away from the gums, a tooth popping right out of the socket, and drills the jumper. Money from the Tooth Fairy.

3. Does "The Tooth" rhyme with "The Truth," Paul Pierce's current widely adopted nickname? Absolutely. Might you, the reader, think that I am just making a pun here? I suppose, if you thought I was into that kind of thing. But I am going to propose an alternate history on the topic.

Pierce was famously given the nickname "The Truth" by Shaquille O'Neal after a Celtics loss where he put 42 on the Lakers. Shaq pulled a Boston reporter aside and said "Take this down. My name is Shaquille O’Neal, and Paul Pierce is the motherfucking truth. Quote me on that, and don’t take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn’t know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the truth."

But we know now, after watching Shaq on "Inside the NBA" for two years, that he has a tendency to mumble. Who's to say that on that fateful night, Shaq didn't actually said "The Tooth," but he marblemouthed it so badly that the reporter heard "Truth" and when it was in the paper the next day and eventually on the tongue of all NBA fans the world over, Shaq just shrugged his shoulders and thought "Good enough."

But this glitch in history is now fixed, and fans of basketball everywhere now know: Paul Pierce is The Motherfucking Tooth.

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