Thursday , May , 01 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Paul Pierce: Gesture Wasn’t Gang Sign

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." [ESPN]