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Paul Pierce’s ceremony ruined by 48-minute LeBron James tribute

We have that and more in Monday’s NBA newsletter.

Paul Pierce.

Remember that little kerfuffle about Paul Pierce not wanting the Celtics to give Isaiah Thomas a 45-second tribute video on the day the Celtics would honor and retire Pierce’s jersey? Well, Thomas got traded to the Lakers a couple of days before the event anyway, so that whole drama was unnecessary.

LeBron James did, however, show up. And he tortured Pierce one last time.

Cleveland blew out Boston with half a new roster, and James looked as happy as he’s been in years. The Cs decided to hold Pierce’s long ceremony after the game instead of at halftime, so fans (and Pierce, and his special guests KG, Rondo, and Doc) had to sit through a blowout.

The ceremony was still good, though. Here are the nine best moments from it.

Ray Allen either wasn’t invited or couldn’t make it. Instead, he was hitting the links. He might have been sipping tea, too.

Be sure to check out Paul Flannery on the game that cemented Pierce’s legacy as a Celtic.

Scores Galore ...

TOR 123, CHA 103
DET 115, ATL 118
CLE 121, BOS 99
NYK 113, IND 121
DAL 97, HOU 104
SAC 106, MIN 111
MEM 92, OKC 110
UTA 115, POR 96

... And So Much More

It’s not just the Cavaliers who are feeling better after the deadline: Thomas had a wonderful debut with the Lakers.

This episode of BEEF HISTORY on Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning is incredible. Learn something, kids!


Oklahoma City adores Paul George.

Kevin Pelton revisits the Kyrie Irving trade to assess why so many of us (myself included) wrongly thought that Cleveland did well.

Gregg Popovich is incredible.

Marc Stein sat down with the legendary Milos Teodosic, who does not eat cheeseburgers for breakfast, despite what his teammates say.

I, uh, believe in the Lakers’ new blueprint.

Dwyane Wade is back in Miami, and all is right in the world. That’s also the lead item in Whitney Medworth’s weekly NBA appreciation fest.

Why no one wanted to trade first-round picks at the deadline.

This tic-tac-toe face-off during a Blazers game is quite a ride.

What’s Giannis Antetokounmpo’s most impressive dunk?

Really sweet moment for a hardcore Vince Carter fan.

In appreciation of Karl-Anthony Towns’ custom game.

Buy-out news: Joe Johnson is headed to the Rockets, as is Brandan Wright, and Marco Belinelli is going to Philadelphia.

NBA TV has a sad doubleheader: Knicks-Sixers at 7 p.m. ET and Suns-Warriors at 10:30. Full schedule here.

And finally: This kid with a fidget spinner on his forehead was the MVP of Hawks-Pistons.

Be excellent to each other.

Beef History: Larry Johnson vs. Alonzo Mourning