Celtics legend Paul Pierce has a reason why he thinks LeBron James is about to make his 10th NBA Finals appearance.
During ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” on Friday, Pierce, who is one of the show’s analysts, made the claim that players in the league today are scared of James.
“Players today are scared of LeBron,” Pierce said during one the show’s segments discussing the Lakers’ Western Conference Finals series against the Nuggets. “If they see LeBron standing in front of them, fear’s chasing. I know this. You know, my era is out of the league. We weren’t afraid of LeBron. These guys today, he strikes fear in these guys. ”
Paul Pierce says players today are scared of LeBron
"My era is out the league, we weren’t afraid of LeBron."
(🎥 ESPN) pic.twitter.com/CEg6DWVOsJ
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) September 26, 2020
Pierce did have some success against James and his teams in the playoffs. Pierce’s Celtics got the better of James’s Cavaliers in the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals, highlighted by a Game 7 where Pierce scored 41 points and James scored 45. Pierce’s Celtics defeated James’s Cavaliers in the Eastern Semis again in 2010, handling them in 6 games that time.
The tides changed when James departed from Cleveland to Miami to join the Heat in 2010. James’s Heat defeated the Celtics in the 2011 Eastern semis in 5 games and defeated the Celtics in the Eastern Finals in 7 games.
Pierce and James met in the playoffs again in 2014 again, this time with Pierce on the Brooklyn Nets. James’ Heat got the best of Pierce and his crew again, defeating the Nets in the 2014 Eastern Semis.
While Pierce’s playoff record may indicate that he didn’t fear James, Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green believes Pierce feared James, and still does.
“Enjoy retirement man,” Green wrote on Instagram about Pierce’s comments. “…You still fear Bron…Shut up already! We get it!”
Pierce and Green have had some beef of their own. During Pierce’s final season in 2017, Green told Pierce, who was playing with the Clippers at that time, during a game that he’s “loved” by the NBA community like Kobe Bryant was.
“Chasing that farewell tour, they don’t love you like that,” Green said to Pierce. “You can’t get no farewell tour. They don’t love you like that …You thought you was Kobe.”
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