Video: Paul Pierce Explains Why LeBron James Shouldn't Be Considered Top 5 Ever

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2020

Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce (34) defends Miami Heat forward LeBron James in the first half of Game 4 of their second-round NBA playoff basketball game at the Barclays Center, Monday, May 12, 2014, in New York. James had 49 points as the Heat defeated the Nets 102-96 to go up 3-1 in the series. (AP Photo/)
Uncredited/Associated Press

Former Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce doesn't think LeBron James should be in the running for the greatest player of all time next to Michael Jordan.

In fact, he doesn't even think James is one of the five best players in NBA history.

Pierce said as much during an appearance on ESPN's NBA Countdown (around the two-minute mark) Tuesday, revealing that a clip of Jordan during The Last Dance documentary cemented his opinion on LeBron.

Pierce highlighted when Jordan said he wanted to build the Chicago Bulls organization into a champion, saying, "I go back and I ask myself, 'What has LeBron done to build up any organization from the ground floor?'"

Pierce pointed to players such as Jordan in Chicago, Larry Bird and Bill Russell in Boston, Tim Duncan in San Antonio and Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles doing just that. Pierce also said James put together a team of stars in Miami and didn't come back to Cleveland until he could do the same.

Paul Pierce @paulpierce34

All the people I named where part of a dynasty 🤷🏾‍♂️#6 Shaq #7 Duncan

While it is true James never won a championship until he joined Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat and didn't reach the mountaintop with the Cleveland Cavaliers until he had Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, all the players Pierce listed had the help of talented teammates as well.

It is difficult to envision Jordan winning anywhere near his six titles without Scottie Pippen, or Tim Duncan winning his five without David Robinson, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

James also transformed the Cavaliers organization after they selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA draft, leading them to a five NBA Finals. Cleveland had never advanced past the Eastern Conference Finals before he arrived and was seen as nothing but a minor obstacle for some of the Bulls and Detroit Pistons teams of the 1980s and 1990s in The Last Dance.

Even though he won two of his three career championships with the Heat, James is easily the first player who comes to mind when thinking of the Cavaliers as an overall organization.

It should be noted that Pierce and James were rivals on the court, battling each other in the Eastern Conference playoffs a number of times. Even though there was surely mutual respect, they also guarded each other and stood in the way of championships.

Pierce has firsthand experience when it comes to losing to and defeating James in the playoffs, but he still doesn't think The King has done enough to merit being in the NBA's five best players ever.


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