Paul Pierce to the NBA Hall of Fame? - No question! None at all!

Paul Pierce just can't catch a break lately. First of all, Isaiah Thomas orchestrates his own Celtics tribute and schedules it for the same night as Paul's #34 retirement. The fact that The Captain quietly protested the dual tribute tells me a change needs to be made. Now there is negative noise from the West Coast about Pierce's eligibility for the NBA Hall of Fame. Paul can't even be considered for 2-to-3 years, so isn't this an early start for the naysayers?

Pierce was drafted 10th in the 1998 NBA draft, and there were a number of NBA executives that regretted bypassing him. Michael Olowokandi was the first overall pick and one of the biggest draft blunders of all time. Mike Bibby, Raef LaFrentz, Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, Robert Traylor, Jason Williams, Larry Hughes and Dirk Nowitzki followed and all went before Pierce. Paul had a chip on his shoulder after that and would yell out the names of those chosen before him at each practice shot.

Mercury is an insidious neurotoxin, and according to the WorldMercuryProject, can "severely disrupt the normal neurodevelopmental processes in the human brain". In other words, it makes you crazy and stupid. It appears that is what has occurred in California, at least to a few individuals.

Pierce spent 19 seasons in the NBA and was a 10-time All-Star, 2008 Champion and Finals MVP. I consider Lebron James one of the top-5 NBA players of all time, and he is still playing. He considers Paul Pierce, not Californian Kobe Bryant, his greatest rival. This is MassLive's Jay King on the controversy:

When asked by NBA TV's Ahmad Rashad about the subject recently, though, the league MVP said he does not consider Bryant his top rival. He did not mention Durant, either.

"I would say that I don't really have an individual rivalry. I think the closest would be Paul Pierce," James said. "I would say Boston is a rival of mine because I've met them so many times in the postseason. I've been able to advance against them, they've sent me home fishing a few times. So I would say Boston and Paul Pierce would kind of be that guy, if I had to name just one guy."

Imagine the Celtics team pre-Kevin Garnett/Ray Allen without Pierce. What if Boston had taken Bonzi Wells (taken at #11 after Pierce) at the 10th pick? The Truth needs some true respect, and it isn't happening. So I will finish this article with a "super" tribute to The Captain by a beloved former teammate of Paul's, the ever-unpredictable Kevin Garnett. The video is absolutely charming and shows the two stars after a tough game against the Toronto Raptors. I wouldn't doubt we will see Kevin in Springfield with Paul in a few years.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Jim Rassol/MCT
Video via garnetttribute