“The Last Dance” reignited the debate over who is the greatest player in NBA history, and Paul Pierce is joining the conversation. Instead of comparing Michael Jordan and LeBron James, though, Pierce went so far as to say James isn’t even a top-five NBA player of all time. Pierce gave his unique all-time list out Wednesday, and it puzzled NBA fans around the country.
Paul Pierce doesn’t think LeBron James is close to Michael Jordan
Paul Pierce appeared on ESPN’s ‘NBA Countdown’ Wednesday and gave out his top-five NBA players of all time. Whereas most people like to compare Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the two greatest ever, Pierce didn’t even put James on his top-five list.
Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], Magic [Johnson], [Michael] Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe [Bryant], [Larry] Bird. These guys are all top-10 players who either help build up their organization or continued the tradition. We haven’t seen that from LeBron. He went and put together a team in Miami, and in some ways, he came back to Cleveland to put that team together. And then he went to the Lakers, where tradition has already been made.Paul Pierce
Pierce went on to name his top five as Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, and Kobe Bryant.
Jay Williams and Jalen Rose, the other two analysts on the show at the time, couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Whether Pierce was speaking his truth or just trying to get his name trending on social media, it was a wild take in the everlasting GOAT debate.
Could Pierce have left LeBron James off his list because of a personal vendetta?
Pierce gave his reasons why James isn’t a top-five player ever, but it might go deeper than that. It’s possible his tirade came from a place of jealousy, not rational thinking.
Pierce butted heads with James many times during his career, and James got the best of him in the long run. Yes, Pierce did win a championship during James’ prime, but James went on to win three NBA titles in the years after. Oh, and James is still playing now and has a chance to win more.
During one of James’ title runs with the Heat, he demolished Pierce’s Celtics in five games. He also ruined Pierce’s jersey ceremony by beating Boston by 22 points while Pierce sulked courtside.
Then, in 2018 James went into the Boston Garden and carried the Cavaliers to a Game 7 victory while Pierce heckled him from his seat. That might’ve been the last straw for Pierce.
Paul Pierce went on to put 2 more names in front of LeBron James
Pierce clearly loved the attention he was garnering from his hot take, so he took it a step further on Twitter. Pierce tweeted “All the people I named where part of a dynasty #6 Shaq #7 Duncan” after his video went viral.
At this point, it seems like Pierce is just adding fuel to the fire. He enjoys putting out bold takes and watching the Internet eat him alive. In a sense, he’s getting exactly what he wanted.
Putting LeBron James outside of the top five and the top seven is blasphemous, and Pierce probably knows that. In this age of no sports and country-wide quarantine, you have to make up news somehow, and Pierce surely did Wednesday.