Paul Pierce claims that LeBron James is not among the top five all-time players.
The NBA Countdown show from Tuesday featured the ex-Celtics great and current ESPN commentator arguing his position. The host and co-analysts remained silent after he had done speaking since they weren’t sure how to reply right away. At the time of this check, the YouTube video (above) also has more negative than positive comments, and Pierce is presently trending on Twitter.
While none of these items stand out particularly on their own, taken as a whole, they paint a very accurate picture of how his statements were perceived.
You can watch the pertinent section about 1:32 above, or you can scroll below to see what ESPN took, condensed, and shared on its social media right now. You may read a synopsis beneath if you can’t hear the audio where you are. In essence, you have choices.
When Michael Jordan said that he wanted to turn the Bulls into a team that won championships forever in the Sunday’s season finale of The Last Dance, Pierce claims that his belief was validated.
I reflect and think, « What has LeBron done to create any organization from scratch? » Pierce remarked.
Let’s emphasize the phrase « Pierce stated. »
He said, « All the great players developed their customs and organizations. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson were mentioned as examples of such players, and he proceeded by saying that Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal carried on the legacy during their time in Los Angeles.
He proceeded by saying that Larry Bird carried on the Celtics’ winning heritage.
Then he used Jordan and Tim Duncan as illustrations of athletes who, during their respective runs in Chicago and San Antonio, « established a tradition. »
So I ask myself, « What has LeBron [done] to build up any organization from the ground up? » when I think back to these individuals and the top five players who not only built up organizations but also helped perpetuate the tradition of the organization, à la Kobe. Pierce went on.
Co-host Jay Williams immediately stated that he didn’t agree with this line of reasoning. In particular, he didn’t seem to see why this was significant when selecting the finest player or players of all time.
Pierce continued after the interruption by mentioning Bill Russell as another person who laid the groundwork before going over the list of those already mentioned.