Tired of all the talk about which #23 is better, the TV peeps decided to go another way and ask: Who is LeBron James‘s greatest rival over the course of his 16 year career? (The LeBron James and Michael Jordan eras never coincided.) That’s the question Paul Pierce’s studio mates put to him, shouting out some illustrious names as possibilities. Carmelo Anthony? (Come on now.) Kevin Durant? Pierce had a ready answer. It’s him, of course! Five amazing playoff series, an extraordinary Game Seven where the two men combined for 86 points. The fact that during James’s prime Pierce, who Shaquille O’Neal memorably nicknamed The Truth, claimed he was indisputably the best basketball player in the world — and arguments were hard to muster?
Keep in mind at that time, Kobe Bryant was also in his prime. Yet in 2008 when the Celtics won the title, it was hard to argue against Pierce’s claim. Paul Pierce’s opinions in the studio might not always jibe with his nickname — Pierce was definitely closer to The Truth as a player than as a commentator. But it’s hard to say who was a better rival for James, at least during the years when Pierce was active. The fact that James can also claim a rivalry with Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Melo and some others probably proves the point that James has been basically unrivaled in his dominance — eight straight NBA Finals, etc. But at least for part of James’s career, Pierce is right when he says James’s greatest rival was The Truth himself. And you can tell he enjoys saying it too. See video below.
PAUL PIERCE TALKING THAT TALK pic.twitter.com/H6ZvymyyLw
— 2Cool2Blog (@2Cool2Blogggg) March 7, 2019