'It’s me of course': Paul Pierce calls himself LeBron's greatest individual rival

NBC Sports Boston Staff

'Its me of course': Paul Pierce calls himself LeBron's greatest individual rival originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

The Boston Celtics are getting ready to take on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. The Lakers and Celtics already have a long and storied history, but this matchup is drawing extra intrigue because of the history that LeBron has against the Celtics. He was a part of some great rivalries, including one he had with Paul Pierce.

When Pierce was in the NBA and with the Celtics, he was one of the star players that usually ended up going head-to-head with LeBron. He and LeBron had some of the greatest and most evenly matched battles in NBA history.

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Recently on ESPN, Pierce was asked about who was LeBron's greatest individual rival. He didn't hesitate long before giving his answer.

It's me of course. No one has had more playoff battles and more meaningful games than me and LeBron. So, how could it be nobody but me? I have my career high versus Lebron, 50 points.

Pierce does have a point. He and LeBron met 39 times during their regular season careers and squared off in five playoff series. While Pierce holds an advantage of 21-18 in regular season games, LeBron has won three of the five series he played against Pierce in.

One of the most notable games came when James and Pierce went toe-to-toe in Game 7 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals. Though LeBron scored 45 points, Pierce nearly matched him with 41 points and earned the victory. The Celtics would eventually go on to win the NBA Finals over the Lakers.

Throughout the years, the rivalry between Pierce and LeBron grew, especially after LeBron left Cleveland for Miami to build his own super team with the Heat. Pierce actually took credit for forcing LeBron's move in the segment and said this.

Why do you think he moved to Miami? … I sent the UHaul.

Regardless of whether or not Pierce is unequivocally the biggest individual rival of James' career, the fact of the matter is that the two legends had many battles throughout the years and produced some of the most exciting playoff series in NBA history. 

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