Kevin Garnett As Competitive As Michael Jordan? Paul Pierce Makes Case


May 13, 2020

Michael Jordan’s competitiveness has been on full display during ESPN’s airing of “The Last Dance,” a 10-part documentary series chronicling the NBA legend and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls.

Few, if any, athletes in professional sports history have had the drive His Airness possessed while guiding the Bulls to six NBA championships and cementing himself as arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.

That said, Paul Pierce can think of one player whose fire rivaled Jordan’s: Kevin Garnett.

Maria Taylor asked Pierce, Jalen Rose and Jay Williams on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” this week whether they ever played with someone who they wished was a little more competitive. The conversation shifted, however, when The Truth brought up KG’s intensity.

“I don’t know if there’s somebody I wish was more competitive, but I think I played with the most competitive player. I think I could put his competitiveness on the same level as Jordan’s. And that’s Kevin Garnett, man,” Pierce said. “He practiced every day like it was a game. And some of the stuff I saw on ‘The Last Dance’ — like how (Jordan) pushed his teammates and the way he talked to them at practice — Kevin was pretty much the same way: Damn near ready to fight if you didn’t practice hard. And it showed in the game.

“I appreciate that I had somebody to help push me to another level later in my career. I wish I could’ve had him early in my career, but I put him on the same level as Michael Jordan as far as fire and competitiveness.”

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Pierce played alongside Garnett for six seasons with the Boston Celtics, during which they won an NBA title in 2008.

Jordan might be a notch above everyone in terms of evaluating the game’s all-time greats, but it’s hard to dispute Pierce’s notion regarding Garnett’s passion, which was evident on and off the court.

If anyone’s in the same league as MJ from a competitiveness standpoint, it’s definitely The Big Ticket.

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Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images
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