The Truth is out in Brooklyn. Examiner.com was on the scene with American Express as they shot the “Hello Paul” campaign to welcome basketball great Paul Pierce to The Brooklyn Nets, which premiered today Nov. 4. The All-Star and All-NBA team selection forward came from the rival city team Boston Celtics this season. American Express made sure he arrived in Brooklyn in style by introducing him to the borough he is now calling home.
“I am living in this amazing city now and am happy to be getting a chance to experience it with my family,” Pierce told Examiner.com. “We walk through the park and to restaurants. People will come up to me and say hello. The response is amazing.”
“Hello Paul” was a one-day shoot documenting a day in the life of the NBA All-Star as he toured his new neighborhood. The day started off with a session at Brooklyn Bowl since Paul is as talented on the court as he is in the lanes. From there a second stop also included another expression of Paul’s passions – music at Academy Records in Greenpoint.
“We went to this record shop and when I walked in and saw all these vinyl records that my mom used to play when I was a kid. I know my kids will not know what records are when they are older, but I know. I plan on going back and grabbing some.”
Other stops on the introduction tour included a walk around Dumbo and the surrounding city bridges that brought a big smile to Paul’s face as he took selfies of himself posing at the water. Next up was a stop at Juliana’s Pizza where Paul was schooled on how to make a pie before he could sink his teeth into one of the famous Brooklyn slices. Patrons stopped mid-lunch to grab snapshots of Paul as he kneaded the crust in the open-air kitchen.
“I had never made a pizza before in my life. I definitely want to practice now and maybe get an oven and learn to make it at home.”
As Paul headed down the street fans came up for pictures and he gladly posed. He handed out Nets jerseys and tickets to games. One young fan though had to make a minor adjustment by removing his Knicks hat before getting a ticket from The Truth.
“There are hardcore fans here in New York. The fans can be torn who to cheer for The Knicks or The Nets. I was giving away Nets tickets and I couldn’t be caught on camera giving tickets to a Knicks fan,” said Paul jokingly.
By the end of the day Paul was beat, but not too tired to do something that he always has energy for – to be a mentor for the kids.
Barclays Center opened up their practice court for the champignon player to bring in 13 kids from the locally sponsored Madison Square Boys and Girls Club for a special surprise lesson with Paul.
“I myself grew up in The Boys and Girls Club. I am excited to be playing with these kids today. This is a way of giving back to them. I love being around kids because it is so genuine. Their eyes light up when they see you and it touches my heart,” said the player who himself is the father of three young children.
The hour-long hoops session had tall Paul running up and down the court being chased by the enthusiastic kids. He broke out in a sweat and got in his workout for the day. But, it was worth it when the club members broke out in a sweet singing session of “Happy Birthday” to Paul who not only was celebrating a new team and new home, but also a new year in his life.
“It is going to be interesting playing in a rival city. Everyone up until recently had looked past The Nets. But, now it is a new attitude and they are going to start a pretty big tradition here. I am definitely embracing the environment here and the culture of New York. It has been a good experience and I cannot wait for it to get even better.”
"As the Official Charge Card Partner of the NBA and presenting sponsor of the Barclays Center, American Express provides basketball fans and Card Members with exclusive experiences and access to the best in entertainment– from the NBA to tennis and golf, to fashion and music, the brand creates memorable moments for fans at their passion points. Starting today, fans can follow along on American Express’ YouTube channel and BrooklynNets.com. Additionally, the 30-second “Hello Paul” clip will begin airing in-arena at the Barclays Center later this November," Amex said in a statement.