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“Win A Playoff Series Imma Learn Your Last Name”: Paul Pierce Vehemently Demands Paolo Banchero Be More Respected

Advait Jajodia

"Win A Playoff Series Imma Learn Your Last Name": Paul Pierce Vehemently Demands Paolo Banchero Be More Respected

On the latest episode of The Truth Lounge, Paul Pierce decided to shed light on the impressive campaign that the Orlando Magic were having. Mentioning how the same franchise that finished 13th in the East last season, is on track to clinch a top-five seed this season [per], Pierce gave credit to Paolo Banchero. However, after giving the 21-year-old his flowers, the Boston Celtics legend also challenged the former to lead the Magic to a playoff series win.

Paul Pierce seemed to be livid that Paolo Banchero was not getting enough credit for the campaign he has been having. Apart from leading the Orlando Magic to their first playoff appearance since 2020, Banchero has also received an All-Star nod for his performance, earlier this year.

Pierce admitted that he was one of the many not to give the forward the respect he truly deserved. Over the years, he hasn’t even cared to say Paolo’s name correctly. However, now that he’s gotten the first name right, the 2008 champ promises to learn the former Duke Blue Devil’s last name too if the Magic win a playoff series.

“You know who ain’t getting no credit? Paolo Banchero. Bro, he made the All-Star team in his second year. I look up and Orlando is in the fourth spot [now fifth]. Who pegged Orlando, after the season they had last year, as a top four seed, possibly going to sew up a first-round home court advantage. Nobody saw that coming and I don’t hear nobody nationally talking about Paolo… Win a playoff series, Imma learn your last name,” Pierce said.

Banchero has put the basketball world on notice this season. Despite Franz Wagner being out for a significant number of games, the 2023 Rookie of the Year carried the team’s offensive loads and is a big reason behind the Florida side almost being certain of a spot in the postseason. Averaging 22.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game, per Basketball Reference, the 6ft 10” forward’s performances have clearly not only ramped up, but he has also improved different aspects of his game – playmaking, defense, and leadership.

Paolo Banchero and Orlando Magic promised to be a playoff-bound team after a disastrous 2022-2023 season


The emergence of the Orlando Magic has been one of the pleasant surprises of the 2023-2024 season. With the frontcourt duo of Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner leading the young squad, the team has defeated some of the biggest powerhouses this year – the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Denver Nuggets, and even the Boston Celtics. Despite having lost their last two games, the Magic now have a 46-34 record, good for the 5th spot in a very competitive Eastern Conference.

At one point it did seem as though Jamahl Mosley’s boys would finish the season as a top-four seed. However, with the Philadelphia 76ers sitting merely 1 game behind, there could be a possibility that the Magic could now fall to the 7th seed and participate in the play-in tournament.

That said, the team’s improvement has undoubtedly been commendable, to say the least. Despite not making any major changes to the squad, the same core who finished with the third-worst record in the conference last year, is now close to clinching a playoff spot.

However, while their improvement comes as a shock to many, Paolo Banchero had actually warned the league about it before it ever happened. After the 2022-2023 regular season was over, the youngster claimed that the Magic were aiming for a playoff spot in the coming year.

“Next year is playoffs or bust for me, for everyone,” Banchero said, per Sports Illustrated. “I know the way we’ve been talking to each other, that’s all we’re worried about.”

Playing against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks as their final two games of the season, there is a huge possibility that the Magic eventually finish the season in the 7th spot. If they do finish the regular season as the 7th seed, the Magic will have to survive the play-in tournament if they wish to advance to the postseason, which could put their playoff hopes in serious doubt for this season.

The team will hope to avoid this fate at all costs.

Post Edited By:Tonoy Sengupta

About the author

Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia


Advait Jajodia, a seasoned NBA journalist, has had a passion for the game for over a decade. His journey from admiring Kobe Bryant's precision to being in awe of Stephen Curry's long-range mastery instilled a profound understanding of basketball. With a background as a two-time National-level player, Advait uses his experience on the hardwood to offer insightful analysis. Over three years of dedicated sports journalism has equipped the 21-year-old with a unique perspective, reflected in his prolific portfolio of 3,700+ articles.

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