Morning sports update: Paul Pierce’s controversial thoughts on Zion Williamson and the Lakers

Also: Mookie Betts filled out a bracket, a mesmerizing bar chart, and some impossible Celtics trivia.

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce and Deion Branch at TD Garden in 2018. –Barry Chin/Globe staff

The Celtics fell to the Nuggets at TD Garden on Monday night, 114-105. Isaiah Thomas was welcomed back by Boston fans with a tribute video.

The Bruins are away against the Islanders tonight at 7 p.m.

Paul Pierce’s thoughts on if the Lakers get the No. 1 pick: ESPN analyst and former Celtic Paul Pierce expressed some unconventional thoughts regarding the NBA draft. The Lakers, who currently have a 3 percent chance to get the top pick, are the team that needs Duke star Zion Williamson the most, according to Pierce.

And Pierce continued his line of reasoning, saying that the Lakers should trade LeBron James if they get the top pick.

Advertisement

“If the Lakers got the number one pick, I would trade LeBron James,” Pierce said to a stunned cast of fellow ESPN analysts. “You’re talking about three years left of LeBron, or 15 of Zion, let’s go.”

Trivia: Who is the only player in NBA history to have played alongside both Bill Russell and Larry Bird? (Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He was later an NBA coach. In 1991, he won NBA Coach of the Year with the Rockets.

More from Boston.com:

Ed Markey donates campaign contribution from Robert Kraft: Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey received $3,600 in campaign contributions from Patriots owner Robert Kraft. In response to the allegations that Kraft solicited a prostitute at a Florida day spa, Markey donated the money to an organization working to end human trafficking. [The Boston Globe]

A tip led to Matt Barnes finding a fix: Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes struggled early in his relief appearance on Monday, but a mound visit from Red Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie helped resolve the issue of tipping pitches. [The Boston Globe]

Mookie Betts has picked his national champion:

Isaiah Thomas enjoyed his moment at TD Garden on Monday night:

A mesmerizing look at major league home run leaders over the decades in chart form:

Advertisement

On this day: In 1991, at least 21 NFL owners voted to move the 1993 Super Bowl from Phoenix to Pasadena. The reason for the action was that Arizona was the only state in the country that didn’t formally recognize Martin Luther King Day as a paid federal holiday.

Arizona Governor Evan Mecham – in one of his first acts after being inaugurated in 1987 – rescinded the decision from his predecessor to enact the holiday. The move created a national backlash, but Mecham remained unmoved (he was eventually impeached and removed from office in 1988). Still, attempts to have the holiday reinstated by popular vote failed in 1990, so the NFL decided to act.

Buy Tickets

“We should remove the game from political controversy and avoid being made a target,” said NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. ”So long as it is in Arizona and the alleged controversy is unresolved, people will reach out and use us as a target.”

In 1992, a ballot measure passed with 62 percent of the vote, finally enacting Martin Luther King Day in Arizona. The Super Bowl returned in 1996.

Daily highlight: Stephen Curry nailed a 61-foot shot at the end of the first quarter against the Spurs on Monday night.

Trivia answer: Don Chaney.