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Paul Pierce visited by 'Basketball After Life Ghost' in his room, according to Paul Pierce

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File under "When #motivation gets weird"

Via @James_Dator

As summer draws to a close, NBA players are beginning to prepare for the start of a new season. Apparently, if you're Paul Pierce, this means being visited in the wee hours of the morning by a ghost:

So ...yeah. That might seem a little weird, but once you understand the context, this actually makes a little bit of sense. You see, this isn't the first time he's been visited by a ghost. Here's a quick recap of his previous encounters:

STAVE 1. WALKER'S GHOST

Paul Pierce is visited by his former business partner, Antoine Walker, who is now bound in chains from head to toe. He tells Pierce "I am here to-night to warn you, that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. A chance and hope of my procuring, Paul Pierce."

A thankful, but somewhat confused Pierce responded "You were always a good friend to me. Thank'ee!"

Walker's ghost then told Pierce "You will be haunted by Three Spirits. Without their visits, you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Expect the first to-morrow, when the bell tolls one."

An indignant Pierce, who had a World Series of Poker event the next day, asked "Couldn't I take 'em all at once, and have it over, Antoine?"

Walker replied "Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of twelve has ceased to vibrate. Look to see me no more; and look that, for your own sake, you remember what has passed between us!"

STAVE 2. THE FIRST OF THE THREE SPIRITS

Pierce tried to return to his chambers after this encounter with Walker's ghost, but he is woken up by the first of the three spirits: The Basketball Before Life Ghost. This ghost, who bears a striking resemblance to his hero growing up, Magic Johnson, guided him back to his hometown of Inglewood, California. There, Johnson reminded Pierce of the joy of his youth, watching the showtime Lakers. Johnson also took the opportunity to remind Pierce that the showtime Lakers were greatest collection of talent ever assembled by an NBA team, and Byron Scott would be a clear upgrade over Mike D'Antoni as the Lakers' head coach going forward.

STAVE 3. THE SECOND OF THE THREE SPIRITS

The next night, Pierce is visited by the second spirit Walker warned of: the Basketball Present Life Ghost. He shows Pierce several gatherings of Wizard fans celebrating the past season and excitedly talking of what's to come with Pierce on the squad. But even amidst the celebration, the spirit shows Pierce that not all is well in Washington. There are those who worry Pierce's two year stay on the Wizards will be reminiscent of The Ghost of Michael Jordan's two year stay with the Wizards. The spirit, who looks like your typical stats nerd who only cares about shot efficiency and location, then points Pierce to a sickly young Wizard named Tiny Brad. The child shows incredible joy and a voracious appetite, but has been diagnosed with a potentially terminal case of Long Two Consumption, which requires urgent attention.

STAVE 4. THE LAST OF THE SPIRITS

The next night, Pierce is visited by the last of the spirit, the Basketball After Life Ghost. The spirit shows Pierce the Wizards' opening game of the 2015-16 season, minus Paul Pierce, who decided to retire, rather than honor the two year deal he signed with the Wizards. Poor Tiny Brad's Long Two Consumption has taken over his entire body, a fatal blow, that has now spread to the rest of the decaying team.

Pierce is then whisked to the Basketball Hall of Fame, where writers and bloggers alike are openly mocking the induction of the Hall's newest member, with many saying they will only write about the quick, SEO-friendly pieces for pageviews, with no one stepping up to write a well-crafted longform about the player's contributions to the league. The spirit then pointed Pierce to the press release announcing the enshrinement of the player the media had just mocked. Pierce crept towards it, trembling as he went; and following the finger, read upon the press release of the neglected enshrinement his own name, PAUL PIERCE.

Broken by this revelation, Pierce pleads to the BALG, "I will honour the three ball in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach and will pass them along to Tiny Brad. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this press release!"

STAVE 5. THE END OF IT

As you saw today, Pierce awoke and realized the things he had dreamt had not come to pass. Today was the first day of training for a new season. With joy, he exclaimed:

He then anonymously sent a prize turkey to Otto Porter's apartment and told Ray Allen he was sorry for how he treated him after he left the Celtics for the Heat.

Pierce was better than his word in regards to everything he promised. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Brad, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the District knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some media fold laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh and snark, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.

He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived keep the three well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Brad observed

THE END.