Paul Pierce has touched another one of NBA Twitter’s third rails.
The Boston Celtics legend is receiving a torrent of criticism after he omitted LeBron James from his list of the five best players in NBA history Wednesday during his appearance on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown.” Some NBA observers argue James is the greatest player of all time, but Pierce believes he pales in comparison to Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant, because James didn’t “build up” organizations or extend their respective winning traditions during his career.
According to Paul Pierce… LeBron doesn't crack the top 5🤨 pic.twitter.com/QAmaIvoBaQ
— FanSided (@FanSided) May 20, 2020
“He (James) went and put together a team in Miami and in some ways he came back to Cleveland to put that team together,” Pierce said. “And then he to the Lakers where tradition has already has been made, and that’s still to be continued. So in saying that, that’s my argument.”
Predictably, Pierce’s take put him back in the crosshairs of NBA Twitter.
Oh baby we slandering Paul Pierce today??!? pic.twitter.com/Aopwn0LURp
— Fitz (@FitzGSN_) May 20, 2020
I see the Paul Pierce slander has resumed on the TL and I’m all for it this morning pic.twitter.com/AQ4kkRnJ4C
— melanie (@mel__nie) May 20, 2020
you guys, i'm starting to think paul pierce doesn't like heat players.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) May 20, 2020
Someone needs to give Paul Pierce a drug test. They hate on lebron and that’s he’s not top 5 is ridiculous. You can tell he still spiteful
— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) May 20, 2020
Nevertheless, Pierce doubled down via Twitter later in the afternoon.
All the people I named where part of a dynasty 🤷🏾♂️#6 Shaq #7 Duncan
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) May 20, 2020
Pierce probably should have seen all of this coming. Then again, he probably did.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images