BOSTON (AP) - Celtics forward Paul Pierce, fined $25,000 for what the NBA called a ``menacing gesture'' during Game 3 of Boston's playoff series against Atlanta, denied that the sign was gang-related.
``I 100 percent do not in any way promote gang violence or anything close to it,'' Pierce said in a statement issued Wednesday before Game 5 of the series. ``I am sorry if it was misinterpreted that way at Saturday's game.''
The league fined Pierce for flashing a hand gesture toward Atlanta's Al Horford, holding up his right hand, forming an ``O'' with his thumb and index finger and extending the other three fingers. Although the gesture has been interpreted as a gang sign, Celtics basketball boss Danny Ainge said the three fingers represented ``blood, sweat and tears.''
Pierce does it before every game, Ainge said, adding that the fine would be appealed after the season.
Pierce said he didn't want to take any focus away from the playoffs, and added that his foundation is committed to helping urban youth stay away from gangs.
``I am extremely proud of the work I have done through the foundation to provide positive influences and safe havens for inner city kids,'' he said.

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Celtics improving Finals odds The Boston Celtics are showing signs that they want to be in the hunt to win the NBA Finals next season. Do oddsmakers feel the Celtics are...
Thumbnail Warriors re-sign Curry, Iguodala The Golden State Warriors are committed to keeping their championship team together. The team re-signed a number of players last week to improve their odds to...
Thumbnail Paul George joins the Thunder The Oklahoma City Thunderwon the Paul Georgesweepstakes last week. How has this impacted the team’s ability to win the NBA...
Thumbnail Rockets improve Finals odds After making a big splash this week, are the Houston Rockets making a push to win the 2018 NBA Finals?
Thumbnail Updated NBA Finals Odds After a busy week with the NBA Draft taking place, which team improved their odds to win the 2018 NBA Finals?

NBA Team Pages