It’s no secret that Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce considers Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James as his biggest rival. After all, back in James’ tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat, it seemed like Pierce and the Celtics always ran into the King in the postseason. However, it appears as though the retired Celtics star’s rivalry with James is affecting his perception of the King’s standing in today’s NBA.
On the TICKET & THE TRUTH NBA In-Season Tournament final watch-along on SHOWTIME Basketball, Pierce disagreed with the notion that the Lakers star is still one of the five best players in the NBA Today, naming five other players that he’ll be taking over James.
“Luka Doncic, The Joker, Embiid, Giannis, and Tatum. Shut up. Please stop with this nonsense,” Pierce exclaimed.
Kevin Garnett, who was part of those Celtics teams that came up against LeBron James in the playoffs over and over again, vehemently expressed his dissent towards Paul Pierce’s opinion.
“Man get yo a** outta here. You get your garbage a** outta here. The f**k is you talking about you, bum? You act like you don’t even know basketball,” Garnett responded. “You’re a cupcake. You talking that goofy s**t. We talking about Bron. […] N***a 38 doing this!”
Paul Pierce then clarified that he was talking about today’s NBA, and that at present, as great of a player LeBron James has been for his entire career, there are certainly a few players he’ll be taking over the Lakers star.
“Those guys aren’t greater than Bron all time. I’m saying top five today. We’re not talking about body of work,” Pierce retorted. “Man get this man a LeBron jersey real quick so you can put it on.”
At this point, given LeBron James’ age and the durability concerns he has had over the past few years, Paul Pierce may not be too far off with his opinion. The Lakers star, however, remains one of the best players to have in pressure situations given his incredible experience in such circumstances, making him such a valuable player to have with silverware on the line, just like in the Lakers’ 123-109 win over the Pacers to take home the first-ever NBA Cup.