Here’s a fun story as we pass the time counting down to the regular season opener. It comes via a post over at Peachtree Hoops who noted how Al Hortford revealed that The Truth owes him $10,000 over a bet the two made during the teams’ opening round matchup back in 2008. Hortford told the story during a radio interview on Mayhem in the AM which is broadcast on 790 The Zone down in Atlanta.
Here’s a full transcript of the exchange that took place between the hosts and Al Hortford and Marvin Williams on the subject:
Host: Did you talk to Paul Pierce ever since that thing with the gang sign?
Horford: I didn’t talk to him, but I know he owes me money…..(laughs)…..Marvin was a witness, we were at the free throw line, he was telling me that they were going to sweep us and all this, and you know we betted….and I never got anything.
Host: What does he owe you? Can you say it?
Hortford: Ten thousand.
Host: Ten thousand huh?
Williams: True story.
Host: He literally said he would give you ten grand if you won a game?
Williams: He bet us 10 grand we wouldn’t win a game.
You can listen to the full audio of the interview from 790 The Zone here.
A couple things I have concluded after listening to the interview.
1) Al Hortford and Marvin Williams appeared very genuine in telling the story. I will defer to Brett LaGree over at Hooponion for his interpetation of the remarks given he knows those guys better than we do up here:
Listening to the interview, the alacrity with which Marvin Williams (paragon of honesty and genuineness by all accounts) jumps into the conversation lends the exchange credence.
At 12:50 of the interview, the subject returns to Pierce and whether Horford and Williams have lost any respect for him. Marvin Williams says:
“Absoultely not. You know, growing up, you know, Paul Pierce was one of the guys I looked up to. At the end of the day, he’s a competitor, man, he wants to win just like we want to win and it’s never personal.”
Specifically addressing the unpaid bet makes things personal for him,
Al Horford says:
“I’m not mad at him at all. You know, I mean, he’s a competitor like you said and, you know, he wants to win. He’s a good player so, I mean, it’s fine for him to talk. He’s a vet.”
Now, we clearly aren’t talking about a Pete Rose situation here with Pierce but it’s an incredibly interesting thing to consider that NBA players bet during games all together, much less playoff games. We all know Paul Pierce likes to do his fare share of gambling in Vegas but this in game betting, if true is taking it to a new level. The NBA can’t be happy about a story like this surfacing either. Certainly bears watching how they will react to it, if at all.
Now my guess would be Pierce forgot about making the bet, simply because he had bigger fish to fry in the proceeding weeks of that season such as winning an NBA Championship. Not saying that excuses Pierce from not paying up, but given the positive comments Williams and Hortford had about Pierce despite the debt, makes it appears there is no real ill will here. Let’s hope for The Truth there was no juice involved.
We will keep you posted here at Celtics Hub if Pierce or the Celtics responds to the story at all.