CORAL GABLES. Fla. — Celtics forward Paul Pierce addressed the media for the first time this afternoon following his ejection from last night’s 99-90 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1.
“I probably overreacted,” said Pierce. “I thought I was fouled excessively on both plays, actually. I thought it should have been a flagrant on both of the plays. But it’s up to me to keep my composure. The referees called what they saw. I need to do a better job keeping my composure. That’s it.”
Pierce picked up his first technical foul of the game at the 7:59 mark of the fourth quarter. After taking a hard foul from Heat guard James Jones, Pierce went at Jones and got in his face, Pierce’s head bumping Jones’s. Pierce said today he did not expect to be suspended for Game 2 for initiating contact with Jones, but said he was expecting to talk to the league at some point.
“Yeah it’s always a concern when things happen,” said Pierce. “Right now it’s out of my control. They’re going to view it the way they’re going to view it. It was selfish of me last night. But it would hurt even more if [a head-butt] is what they saw.
Jones was also given a technical foul on that play, though he was not given a flagrant after wrapping up Pierce around the head and neck. Pierce received his second technical foul of the game with seven minutes left. He said he did not expect to receive the second technical foul for arguing with Dwyane Wade.
“I didn’t get an explanation,” said Pierce. “I was surprised at getting kicked out, yeah I was. I didn’t think what I did warranted ejection. Sometimes players get caught in the hype of the games. Sometimes the refs do too.”
The Celtics made Pierce available for only a few minutes this afternoon, with a member public relations on his right shoulder in case he misspoke. Pierce was contrite and stayed on message.
“We’ve got to do a better job keeping our composure,” he said. “End of story, truthfully. Basically it was me not keeping my composure, so what they said. I don’t think nobody here as ever seen me lose my composure. Not what I consider losing my composure. Within the rules of the game, I have to do a better job.
“I was more disappointed letting my teammates down. You put yourself in a situation you can control, and it hurts your team, that’s what I was most upset about. I can’t do that. I’m too important to this team.”
Celtics coach Doc Rivers also spent some time today addressing Pierce’s technical fouls, and the hard fouls that led to them.
“If we’re calling flagrants the way we’ve been calling flagrants, if you go above the head, then that’s a flagrant foul. Do I actually think any of them are flagrants? No. I really don’t. I don’t think any of them are flagrants, honestly. But if we’re going to start citing the rule book on why we give techs, then you’ve got to call flagrants.”
Asked if he was satisfied with the officials’ explanation for Pierce’s two technical fouls last night, Rivers simply replied, “no.”