Paul Pierce was 'scared to death" when forced to switch on this NBA legend

Nick Goss
NBC Sports Boston

Allen Iverson was an absolute nightmare to guard.

The Philadelphia 76ers legend was one of the best scorers of his era, and his crossover was one of the most difficult moves to defend. Few players could match Iverson's quickness, dribbling skills and ability to finish at the rim against taller, stronger opponents.

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What was it like competing against such as a talented offensive player like Iverson? Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce wasn't afraid to share his honest thoughts on an episode of ESPN's "The Jump" last week.

"I didn't match up with him, but I knew I was in situations in pick-and-roll where I switched out on him," Pierce said. "I'm not gonna lie, I was scared to death -- I could play defense and all, but I knew I couldn't slide my feet with Allen Iverson. Every night when you looked at the 'SportsCenter' highlights, he was crossing somebody up. All I know is when I switched on him, I was gonna give him that ole defense -- I'm gonna let him do his move and I'm gonna let him go. Hopefully I can send him to the baseline because I was not trying to slide my feet with that guy. I didn't want to end up on anyone's 'SportsCenter' highlights. Period."

Iverson's crossover was so good, even Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan was powerless to stop it.

Pierce and Iverson only met in one playoff series during their careers, and it was a memorable affair.

The Celtics and Sixers squared off in the 2002 Eastern Conference first round, where Boston emerged victorious in a winner-take-all Game 5 at the Garden. Pierce outscored Iverson 46-31 in a 120-87 Celtics win.

Iverson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. Pierce will soon follow him, and he's eligible for the first time in 2021.

Paul Pierce was 'scared to death" when forced to switch on this NBA legend originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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