Maybe Paul Pierce just hates all things South Florida, but the former NBA star has decided to weigh in on the NFL by saying the Miami Dolphins will not make the playoffs this season.
— SHOWTIME Basketball (@shobasketball) September 9, 2023
After calling the AFC East the toughest division and saying that any of its four teams could make the playoffs, Pierce quickly backtracked on the Dolphins.
“Miami not making no playoffs,” Pierce said.
Former NBA teammate Kevin Garnett countered by saying the Dolphins are better than the New England Patriots this season, followed by Pierce offering to make a bet on that.
“I got Pats this year,” Pierce said. “Bill Belichick still over there. You must have forgot.”
Miami reached the playoffs last season for the first time since the 2016 season and is looking for back-to-back appearances for the first time since the start of the century. The Dolphins are expected to have a very good chance to do so and possibly even win the division for the first time since the 2008 campaign.
“I’m rolling with my heart on this one,” Pierce said.
Perhaps Pierce is only familiar with the Dolphins’ lack of success that coincided with most of his NBA career as a bitter rival of the Miami Heat primarily with the Boston Celtics.
Boston and Miami regularly met in the playoffs later in Pierce’s career, including the memorable 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, which Miami won in seven games after trailing three games to two. The Heat trio of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh essentially put an end to Pierce and Garnett’s heyday with the Celtics, which may be why Pierce’s war of words with Wade continues to this day.
The outspoken 45-year-old also has a lot to say about the current Heat, claiming they will not be title contenders and might not even make the playoffs this season if they trade for Damian Lillard.
The Dolphins do have a difficult but not impossible task of making their own playoffs in the powerful AFC, a challenge that begins at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. But Miami can take some solace in the upper hand the city has held over Pierce in most of its important matchups against him.