Imagine for a second you were LeBron James and Ahmad Rashad of NBA TV asked you who you'd consider your biggest rival. What would your answer be? Kevin Durant? Kobe Bryant? How long would you need to go down the list before saying Paul Pierce? Because, according to King James himself, Pierce would be the closest thing to his rival.
"I would say that I don't really have an individual rivalry. I think the closest would be Paul Pierce," James said. "I would say Boston is a rival of mine because I've met them so many times in the postseason. I've been able to advance against them, they've sent me home fishing a few times. So I would say Boston and Paul Pierce would kind of be that guy, if I had to name just one guy."
"Paul Pierce hit a shot. Then LeBron James answered. Pierce hit another and so did James. It was like that all game long, two of the NBA's best trying to carry their teams to the next round."
Despite the loss, James understood the special nature of the duel, referencing the time when Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins stood toe to toe during a 1988 Game 7.
"I think the second round of the postseason, Game 7, these fans will finally have an opportunity to forget a little bit about what Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins did," James said, "and remember what Paul and LeBron did."
After all that, do y'all still think it's crazy that LeBron chose Pierce over everyone else in the league?