Once again Paul Pierce found his name trending on Twitter today, and once again the reason for it was because of some comments he made regarding LeBron James.
Ever since Paul retired from the game and took up a role with ESPN as a basketball analyst, he has used his platform to send shots towards the top talent of our generation. He has called LeBron soft, said James isn’t a top five player of all time, and most recently a clip of him saying LeBron is disqualified from the GOAT conversation if he loses his current playoff matchup to the Blazers has gone viral.
Whenever one of these takes gets trending, NBA twitter loves to throw a storm of comments at Pierce. It seems the twitter community forgot who Pierce actually was in the league and the importance he himself has in LeBron’s legacy.
What people forget is Pierce himself is an automatic hall of famer. Pierce’s prime came just before the true explosion of social media and its role in the league today, so many people didn’t get to see that this guy was a PROBLEM for LeBron early in his career. I mean the guy’s nickname is “The Truth” for God’s sake, put some respect on his name.
During his first stint in Cleveland, Lebron ran into Pierce and the Celtics twice, and both times Pierce led the charge in sending LeBron home. In both of these playoff runs the Celtics would also go on to play the Lakers in the finals, denying the NBA world of a LeBron vs. Kobe matchup that many were eager to see. The second of these meetings also produced the iconic moment of LeBron walking off the court after being eliminated once again by the Boston Celtics, where he tore off his jersey for the “last time” as a Cavalier. James would go on to create the league’s next super team in Miami, where LeBron would again face the Celtics the next two years in the playoffs. Unlike the first two matchups, LeBron would eliminate the Celtics in 5 and 7 games respectively, evening the playoff series count to 2-2 against Pierce. This is where the two journeys split ways, with Pierce reaching the twilight of his career while LeBron has gone on to continue being the best player in the NBA to this day.
If it wasn’t for Pierce and the Celtics, LeBron doesn’t have that team to consistently challenge him throughout the early years of his career. LeBron would never have to take his talents to South Beach to win a championship, and he might have one or two more ‘ships to his name which would certainly help him in the Jordan vs. LeBron argument. Pierce was the thorn in LeBron’s side throughout his first tenure in Cleveland, and the hate Pierce grew for LeBron during his playing days has only grown with time. Whether Pierce’s comments on TV are valid or not, Pierce is one of the few people on this Earth that can say they were able to stop LeBron in the playoffs multiple times, giving him all the right to talk as much shit towards LeBron as he wants. Give up with the Pierce hate. Go watch the tape on the matchups and battles these two had. The film will show for itself why The Truth has every right to talk smack to The Queen.