Paul Pierce often comments on what he believes is his status among NBA players past and present, and the standout from the 2000s and 2010s recently “liked” two social media posts placing him behind Miami Heat greats Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade.
Last month, Pierce picked himself over Wade, specifically citing the teammates Wade played with while winning championships with the Heat as a key difference between the two. The comments initially drew a reaction from Heat icon Udonis Haslem before Wade weighed in himself with a savage clapback.
Pierce’s recent activity on X (formerly Twitter) isn’t the first time he’s responded on social media to someone questioning his credentials. It is clear the 45-year-old has some lingering feelings about comparisons to his 41-year-old counterpart.
Pierce retired as a 10-time All-Star and 2008 NBA champion. He played 15 seasons with the Boston Celtics from the 1998-99 campaign through the 2012-13 season, a time that included several high-profile matchups against the Heat and Wade.
During Pierce’s stint with the Celtics, he faced Wade in three playoff series. The first matchup came in 2010, when Pierce and the Celtics defeated Wade and the Heat in the first round on the way to the NBA Finals, which Boston lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.
Wade then added LeBron James and Chris Bosh as teammates, and the Heat topped the Celtics in the second round in 2011. They ended Boston’s season again in 2012 with a seven-game victory in the Eastern Conference Finals on their way to the NBA title.
After winning another championship in 2013, the Heat also defeated Pierce’s Brooklyn Nets in the second round in 2014.
Pierce does have some supporters, with ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson saying he would fear him more than Wade with a game on the line.
Butler didn’t arrive in the NBA until the 2011-12 campaign and didn’t join the Heat until the 2019-20 season, so his on-court battles against Pierce were limited and did not include postseason matchups. But the current Heat star has played in two NBA Finals (losing both) during his four campaigns with Miami.
It is unclear if Pierce will turn his attention more toward Butler if he does happen to lead the Heat to a championship, but if not, he can always continue his fixation on Wade, which has gone on long after the end of their careers.