It’s certainly strange to be watching an NBA Finals series where LeBron James is not featured at all, the four-time MVP star failed to even make the playoffs in his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Although he's out of the spotlight right now, LeBron is still one of the biggest names in the media right now. One of LeBron’s greatest on-court rivals, Paul Pierce, has spoken out in an interview with the Boston Herald about the circumstances of the superstar joining the Lakers and how it was never about basketball.
“It wasn’t a straight basketball decision,” said Pierce, who currently works for ABC/ESPN covering the NBA Finals. “Based on the roster, this was an after-basketball decision. They had an opportunity to make the team better but based on how the team was when he went there, that wasn’t about basketball.”
Pierce also spoke about when LeBron passed Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list, he was asked whether the team and supporters view James as a true Laker, he replied with “Well, he’s not.”
“I mean, you think about all the great Lakers,” Pierce continued. “They came up with them or got traded there and they were there for long years. You know, he accomplished this feat in his first year, and then on a team that wasn’t even in the midst of a playoff run anymore.”
There’s always been a strong and healthy rivalry between the two with so many heated playoffs matches with the Celtics taking on both the Cavaliers and Heat in many postseason games.