Paul Pierce Claims He Wasn’t Scared of LeBron James at All: ‘I Wasn’t Having That’

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While the sight of LeBron James during his Miami Heat days was an intimidating one for many opponents, retired Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce now says he welcomed the challenge of facing James.

James was a member of the Heat from 2010 to 2014, but also battled Pierce during his two stints as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. During James’ four seasons in Miami, he twice defeated Pierce’s Celtics during the postseason.

The first of those victories came during the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals, when the Heat defeated the Celtics in five games. In three of those games, James scored more than 30 points, while Pierce never notched more than 27 in a contest.

The next year, the two teams met in the Eastern Conference finals, with the Heat coming back from a 3-2 deficit to win in seven games.

In five of those 2012 games, James delivered double-double performances. The best of those efforts came in the clutch in Game 6, when he saved the Heat’s season by scoring 45 points and grabbing 15 rebounds on the road.

James’ effort helped send the Heat to the finals, where they won the first of two consecutive NBA titles by defeating Oklahoma City in five games.

From a comparative standpoint, James has won three NBA titles during his 17-year career, compared to just one for the 19-year veteran Pierce, whose Celtics won it all in 2008.

It was during that 2008 championship run that James and Pierce matched up in a memorable Game 7 battle during the Eastern Conference semifinals. Pierce scored 41 points to help the Celtics win 97-92, though James managed to outscore him, collecting 45 that afternoon.

Both players are destined for the Hall of Fame, with the evidence above clearly indicating that James held the upper hand in the rivalry. While Pierce now says that he may not have been afraid to take on the former Heat star, he also often failed to emerge victorious when the battles mattered the most.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.