If you don’t know the rivalry between LeBron James and Paul Pierce, you’ve probably lived under a rock. These two players had plenty of duels while they both were in the NBA. Although LeBron won more duels than Pierce, the Truth feels the difference between him and LeBron isn’t that big. In prior months, Pierce even claimed LeBron wasn’t a top 5 player in NBA history, something that raised more than eyebrows in the league.
“I go back and I ask myself, ‘What has LeBron done to build up any organization from the ground floor?” Pierce said a couple of months ago.
A lot of people believe the hate between Pierce and James is real, even more after the story of how their rivalry started saw the light. Kendrick Perkins revealed it all started in a preseason game during LeBron’s rookie season.
Well, another former teammate of Pierce has told something different, claiming there is no hate between LeBron and Paul. Antoine Walker believes instead of hate, there is big respect between Pierce and the King. During a recent appearance on Heavy Live with Scoop B, Walker said (45:00 minute mark):
“No I don’t think he hates LeBron. I think he respects LeBron.”
Walker talked about Pierce’s belief that he isn’t that far away from LeBron.
“Me knowing Paul’s competitive drive, Paul doesn’t believe LeBron’s that much better than him,” he said. “And I do believe that.”
He made the case for Paul as an underrated retired player, having in consideration that he didn’t have the same recognition as other players from his generation, especially Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.
“People gotta go back and look at prime Paul Pierce,” Walker added. “And I think because he won it with KG [Kevin Garnett] and Ray [Allen] he doesn’t get the same credit as other guys. But if I remember, Paul Pierce was the MVP of the Finals, Paul Pierce was still that guy when those guys came on that team.”
Pierce did have a terrific career; Kobe prevented him from leaving as a two-time NBA champion, but he made sure to stop Kobe from tying Michael Jordan’s six rings. He was a great competitor, as Walker said. Even when he was past his prime, he won a Finals MVP award. However, that doesn’t seem to be enough to surpass LeBron James or even compare to him. The King has been the most dominant player of his generation and nothing can change that.