Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce isn't concerned about being unpopular in Oakland. During the preseason, the future Hall of Famer directly criticized Kevin Durant for joining the Golden State Warriors, and now, in an appearance on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, he offered a blunt assessment of what happened in last year's NBA Finals.

"Golden State choked," Pierce said. "Like, seriously, I mean 3-1? 3-1, you're not supposed to lose; 3-1, you should never lose. Golden State choked."

Simmons then asked Pierce if he had ever lost a 3-1 lead.

"Never," Pierce said. "That would never happen."

Pierce's teams have indeed never lost a 3-1 lead in a playoff series, and he deserves some credit for his honesty here. There are plenty of players who think the Warriors choked in the Finals, but would never say so on a talk show.

Whether or not it was actually a choke job, though, is a matter of opinion. Golden State lost three times in a row, but it's not like it just gave those games away. The Cleveland Cavaliers needed perhaps the greatest three-game stretch in Finals history from LeBron James, a heroic shot from Kyrie Irving and a pair of legendary defensive plays from James and Kevin Love in order to pull off the comeback and win Game 7 by four points. To reduce all of that to "the Warriors choked" is to imply that all of that stuff doesn't matter as much as Golden State losing its collective mojo.