Paul Pierce is firmly in the camp that felt the 2016 NBA Finals were Golden State’s to lose.
The meme “it was 3-1” has lived on ever since the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Pierce, an NBA champion with the 2008 Celtics, was asked on HBO’s Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons whether Cleveland won or the Warriors choked.
“Ah… man… Golden State choked!” Pierce proclaimed while shaking his head. “3-1, you’re not supposed to lose. 3-1, you should never lose. Golden State choked.”
Simmons followed up asking Pierce if he ever blew a 3-1 lead, to which the proud longtime Celtic responded “never. That would never happen.”
It’s a great on-the-spot question by Simmons to a well-respected former star. Pierce’s response is correct. There’s no other way to describe the greatest regular team in NBA history becoming the first team ever to cough up a 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals. The Warriors CHOKED.
No disrespect to LeBron or the Cavs, but the Warriors, for a multitude of reasons, should have easily won the series. Instead, like Pierce admitted, they choked badly.