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Paul Pierce explains why LeBron James isn’t a top-5 player in NBA history

NBA, LeBron James, Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce gave his latest quarantine hot take, taking out LeBron James from his all-time top five in NBA history for missing one qualifying factor.

The former Boston Celtics great turned NBA analyst said James didn’t build a team from the ground up the way other greats in the top-10 have done in the past:

“What has LeBron did to build up any organization from the ground? I’m talking about these players, top-5 players,” Pierce said on ESPN’s NBA Countdown. “Bill Russell built the organization of Boston, Kareem, Magic, Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe, Bird. These guys are all-time top 10 players who helped build their organization or continued the tradition.”

Pierce has a point here — all of the aforementioned built their respective franchises into all-time teams and some even dynasties. James has been known for tailoring his team around his abilities and shadow-crafting a roster based on his preferences.

When given a standard NBA roster to work with, James did take the Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2007 NBA Finals but was consequently swept at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.

All three of his championship wins have happened with a roster tailored to his liking, whether it was the his two titles with the Heat next to Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh or 2016 accompanied by Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

That alone might not be enough reason to kick him out of the top-5 altogether, but if that is a must for Pierce, it stands to reason why “The Truth” doesn’t think of James as one of the best five in NBA history.