Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce is getting real about the first time he knew that LeBron James was special. As a member of the Celtics, Pierce had several battles with James over the years during the 2000s and 2010s, and now the legendary small forward is opening up about the hype that James was receiving before he even stepped onto an NBA court.
Pierce recently stopped by Showtime Basketball's KG Certified podcast with former Celtics teammate Kevin Garnett to discuss the things he was hearing about James before he was even drafted in 2003.
“NBA players, Jay Z, all the hip hop artists were going to his [high school] games,” said Pierce. “We were like, ‘who is this?' When I was in the locker room, they said this kid could start in the All-Star game, when we were in Philly. I was like, ‘what?' There's a kid right now that's in high school that could start in the All-Star Game? That was getting floated around the locker room.”
The St. Vincent St. Mary high school version of LeBron James would indeed likely have been a top five-to-ten player in the NBA, as he has been throughout the majority of his illustrious career.
James and Paul Pierce have had several playoff matchups with one another, both when James was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, as well as when Pierce was with both the Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets.
While there has been some rumored animosity between the two over the years, it seems that Pierce does harbor some great respect for his legendary counterpart.