Here’s why former Knicks guard Iman Shumpert had a bad first impression of Celtics’ Paul Pierce

"When I get here, I got something for you."

Iman Shumpert had a bad first impression of Paul Pierce. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

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Former Celtics star Paul Pierce had a penchant for trash talking other players, perhaps most notably when he stared down Al Harrington and buried a 3-pointer in his face.

But Pierce didn’t save his trash talk just for opponents — opposing fans were fair game too. One example: After burying a buzzer beater to beat the Knicks in 2010, Pierce stood at Madison Square Garden’s center court and bowed to the fans.

On Sunday, former Knicks guard Iman Shumpert shared a story about Pierce as well. According to Shumpert, when he was a kid, his aunt procured tickets to a game between the Celtics and his hometown Chicago Bulls, utilizing “some sort of connect” to sit court side.


“I just remember having tears in my eyes, I was so excited,” Shumpert said in a recent interview with Uninterrupted.

But as the teams went into the break for halftime, Shumpert tried to dap up players walking by. Most were willing to greet a kid sitting court side. Pierce was not.

“Everybody dapped me,” Shumpert said. “Paul Pierce comes by, he ain’t dap me. He ain’t dap me. And he sort of like, looked at me wrong. Like he just looked at me mean. And my first impression of Paul Pierce was like, ‘When I get here, I got something for you.’ Like for you specifically”


True to his word, Shumpert — who was the No. 17 pick in the 2011 NBA draft — hit Pierce with a devastating crossover in 2014 that sent him tumbling to the floor.

“I did make him fall,” Shumpert said, smiling. “So Auntie, I lived up to that.”

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