He’s a legend on and off the court, but to former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, LeBron James isn’t worthy of being called one of the NBA’s best players of all time. During a spirited debate on NBA Countdown about the topic, Paul named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, and Larry Bird as the best in the league’s history. Paul insisted that despite LeBron’s championships and accomplishments, he’s not in the same caliber as other greats because he didn’t build his winning teams from the ground up. “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 a tradition has already been made,” he explained around the 2:00 mark in the video above.
“That’s my top five. Argue with it.” And the internet definitely obliged, roasting the pro baller turned ESPN analyst for leaving out LeBron. NBA fans pointed out that Paul isn’t exactly impartial when it comes to LeBron; while with the Celtics, Paul faced off against LeBron a handful of times, with both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat. And LeBron played a part in breaking up Boston’s “Big Three” — Paul, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen — by scoring big against the Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. Ray signed with LeBron and Miami afterward. NBA fans trolled Paul majorly after the NBA Countdown episode went live, accusing him of being “salty” about the Space Jam 2 star.
“Paul Pierce after he gets dragged on twitter for his lebron take,” one fan tweeted, including video of an injured Paul getting carried off the court and placed into a wheelchair. Rapper Trizz got in a sick double burn when he tweeted, “Paul Pierce is like the Ja Rule of basketball, we respect what he did for the culture but he’s a clown.” Multiple fans shared the same clip of LeBron’s Cavs crushing the Celtics in an intense game, narrowing that down to the exact moment Paul decided not to include him in the Top 5.
Paul Pierce after he gets dragged on twitter for his lebron take pic.twitter.com/D9u5xwoJvX
— Philip 👺 (@phrrp) May 20, 2020
As a Celtics fan I can absolutely tell you this is the reason why Paul Pierce doesn’t have Lebron top 5…he’s salty as hell about this pic.twitter.com/11ypbng21p
— DailySportsDosage (@SportsDsd) May 20, 2020
Meanwhile, LeBron is hanging out at home during quarantine and getting prepped for when the NBA season finally resumes. The NBA Lakers star shared footage of himself working out to Instagram on May 3, captioned, ““Staying POISED, PRIMED, and PREPPED for whenever it’s time to punch [the clock] again.” Paul probably isn’t watching.