Paul Pierce and LeBron James engaged in a big feud ever since The King entered the NBA in 2003. These two legends shared the court in many opportunities, with Pierce dominating the first part of their rivalry, while James leveled things up and surpassed the Boston Celtics icon after joining the Miami Heat, scoring over 1,000 points on Pierce.
The bad blood between them was incredibly visible, and whenever they went at it, fans knew they would see a terrific matchup. Many people have wondered how it all started, and Pierce explained the origin of his beef with the 4x NBA champion last year when he was still part of ESPN's 'NBA Countdown.'
First, Kendrick Perkins had claimed it all started during LeBron's first preseason in the league. Something happened at the end of a game between the Cavaliers and Celtics, which prompted Pierce to spit at the Cavs' bench, escalating the situation.
Pierce would confirm that story, saying it was a relief that social media wasn't around at the time.
“I’m glad social media wasn’t out there, because I spit at their bench,” Pierce said, via Heavy. “I probably would have gotten fined.”
“You know the crazy thing about it was, it was a preseason game, that didn’t mean anything,” Pierce said. “I don’t know, me and LeBron going back and forth, the bench is yelling at something. And I look over at the bench, and I’m like, ‘That’s why y’all are on the bench’ or something, and I spit at them.
“And I’m not sure I hit somebody or not, but I spit in that direction. And then it just kind of — tempers flared up, the next thing you know, we was in the hallway, it was about to go down. That’s just kind of, like, the basis of everything.”
Curiously, Pierce was fined $15,000, according to the New York Times. After that altercation, one of LeBron's most infamous rivalries started.
They went on to battle it out in the NBA playoffs, splitting victories until LeBron took over with the Miami Heat and completely dominated and overshadowed the Celtics' Big 3.
After he retired from the game, Pierce started a new chapter in his life, becoming an analyst, continuing to attack LeBron from his ESPN platform. The Truth made some questionable comments about the 4x NBA MVP, like stating he wasn't a top-5 player of all time.
However, he recently showed his respect for LeBron, praising him for how he's adapted his game to be effective in new ways. Still, many people think it won't be long before we see Pierce taking a shot at Bron again. Stay tuned, NBA world.