Paul Pierce reveals the biggest similarity between Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett
The Last Dance docu-series on Michael Jordan and the ’90s Chicago Bulls has reminded everyone just how ruthless a competitor Jordan was. His Airness is not only recognized as the greatest basketball player of all-time, but he’s often deemed the most competitive player ever. However, Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce believes there is another player in NBA history who could rival Jordan’s competitive flare.
The Truth said Kevin Garnett had the same level of competitiveness as Jordan. Pierce and KG were teammates on the Celtics for six seasons and won the 2008 championship over the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I don’t know if there’s somebody I wish was more competitive, but I think I played with the most competitive player. I think I could put his competitiveness on the same level as Jordan’s. And that’s Kevin Garnett, man,” Paul Pierce said on ESPN, via NESN.
“He practiced every day like it was a game. And some of the stuff I saw on ‘The Last Dance’ — like how (Michael Jordan) pushed his teammates and the way he talked to them at practice — Kevin was pretty much the same way: Damn near ready to fight if you didn’t practice hard. And it showed in the game.
“I appreciate that I had somebody to help push me to another level later in my career. I wish I could’ve had him early in my career, but I put him on the same level as Michael Jordan as far as fire and competitiveness.”
The Celtics were only able to win one championship during the Big 3 era of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Both Pierce and Garnett have been on record saying they should have teamed up earlier in their careers so they could have won more championships together.
The Celtics got back to the Finals in 2010 but lost to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in seven games.
Pierce averaged 21.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists during his legendary Celtics career. He is the team’s all-time leader in 3-point field goals, free-throws and steals. Pierce is also second to only the legendary John Havlicek on Boston’s all-time scoring list.
The Celtics will retire Garnett’s No. 5 jersey next season. Pierce’s No. 34 jersey already hangs in the rafters at the TD Garden.