Knicks' Smith calls Pierce 'bitter'

The SportsXchange

New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith reacts to comments made by Paul Pierce earlier this month that the Brooklyn Nets would own New York.

Pierce went to the Nets in a trade this offseason after a long career with the Boston Celtics.

"I just look at him as a bitter person just getting out of Boston," Smith told ESPNNewYork.com on Saturday. "He doesn't really know what New York is all about. He's been playing in Boston his whole career. ...

"He just knows, just know that his words have consequences and he's going to have to pay for them."

Pierce had said that his hatred for the Knicks "has grown a little" since he joining the Nets in July.

"Everybody knows how much I disliked the Knicks when I was with the Celtics, but I think it's grown to another level," Pierce said on ESPN's radio affiliate in New York. "I think it's time for the Nets to start running this city."

Pierce also told Complex Magazine that he believes the Nets will eventually be the most popular team in New York.

"Oh yeah. Right now it might be like 70-30 but we're gonna push that the other way," Pierce said.

Smith said he is not angry with Pierce's comments, but does disagree with them.

"They're in one borough, we're all over," he said. "So it's like, you're on an island and we've got the whole country. So it's nothing really to even talk about."

Smith is recovering from knee surgery and may not be ready by the season opener.

Knicks point guard Ray Felton previously responded to Pierce's comments.

"They will never take over the city because we've got 'New York' on our chest," Felton said. "They've got 'Brooklyn' on their chest, and we've got 'New York.' They'll never take over the city.

"(Pierce) saying that is just him talking. At the end of the day, it's all about rivalries. We understand that -- he knows that, I know that. He's just trying to fuel it."

Felton actually laughed off Pierce's comments.

"He's just trying to talk, talk, talk, to fuel the rivalry, which is good. I love it," Felton said. "I think it's good for us, it's good for the whole state, it's good. So, whatever -- I love it."

The Knicks and Nets will play each other four times this season. Their first matchup is Dec. 5 at the Barclays Center.
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