Friday, June 06, 2008

The Paul Pierce Dilemma

It's been made very clear that Paul Pierce grew up in L.A. hating the Celtics and now he's a Celtic trying to beat L.A. Nice contrast.

But one thing that hasn't been widely reported is the possibility that L.A. residents are torn about whether to root for Pierce or the Lakers. I know at least three people who consider Pierce their favorite player because he is from their city, their neighborhood, and their high school. The allegiance to The Truth is almost off the charts.

These people are also huge Lakers fans.

So who do they root for now? The favorite player or the favorite team? On the one hand, a team is a larger entity and is more rooted in ongoing fandom. On the other hand, a team is made up of interchangeable people and parts and - as Jerry Seinfeld famously joked - is basically just a set of laundry that we root for or against. Pierce, on the other hand, is the native son. That might make for a pretty tough call.

Consider it one of the many interesting subplots and riveting conflicts that make this series so unique.

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