One of the side effects of the NBA lockout is hundreds of NBA players with hours of extra time on their hands. While most players are spending their time on obvious pursuits (exhibition basketball games and/or charity endeavours – BORRRRRRRING!!), some are taking advantage of this rare abundance of free time to pursue more exotic undertakings. In memory of the “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” essays we all got to write in school, The Hoops Manifesto honours these brave players with our “What I Did On My NBA Lockout” feature. First up: Paul Pierce
Unfortunately for Paul Pierce, the expression ‘the rich get richer’ didn’t apply to him this summer… but it didn’t stop him from trying. In July the NBA All-Star played in his first World Series of Poker in Las Vegas – and actually didn’t do too badly for himself. After failing to win his way into the tournament in the qualifying round, Pierce ponied up the $10,000 entry fee out of his own pocket and joined the rest of the tournament’s pro and amateur players looking to win a coveted gold bracelet. Wearing headphones, shades, Celtics gear and a big NBA championship ring, Pierce played like a pro throughout his stay in the tournament, even taking time out to talk to fans and sign autographs. After almost 18 hours of action, Pierce finally got ousted after going all in pre-flop with a pair of 2s (ouch), but he has nothing to hang his head about – he lasted longer than more than a 1000 other players who entered the tournament at the same time as he did. But the question remains: should an unemployed person like Pierce really be wasting his money gambling?!