Former NBA exec says a lot of players think Paul Pierce is better than Dwyane Wade but afraid to say it out loud

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Former Phoenix Suns assistant director of basketball operations Amin Elhassan recently told Paul Pierce that there are plenty of NBA players out there who believe he had a superior career than former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade did.

“Dan [Le Batard], I’ma say this about Paul,” Elhassan began. “Paul I said this — when you said Dwyane Wade, you made your comparison to Dwyane Wade’s career — everyone went crazy. I said, ‘What Paul said is something that a lotta NBA players think.’ And I’m not even agreeing with you — to be honest — but I understood what you were saying was from the heart and the truth, because I know there are a lot of players who think that but aren’t brave enough to say it out loud.”

Back in 2019, Pierce appeared on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” and said that he had a better career than Wade.

“That’s easy — I can say that off the bat, that’s me,” Pierce said when asked who the better player was.

Pierce spent 19 seasons in the NBA, including 15 as a member of the iconic Boston Celtics franchise, who drafted him with the No. 10 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. He earned 10 All-Star appearances, four All-NBA nods, one Finals MVP award and one title during his playing career. The forward was also named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team earlier this decade.

The 46-year-old was arguably the best player on the 2007-08 iteration of the Celtics and averaged 21.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 43.2 percent from the floor and 39.3 percent from deep against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 championship series.

Pierce decided to retire following the 2016-17 season. He played in just 25 games with the Los Angeles Clippers during the regular season and averaged 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game while converting 34.9 percent of his shots from 3-point range.

Wade, on the other hand, had an NBA career that spanned 16 seasons. During that time, he made the All-Star Game 13 times, an All-Defensive team three times and led the NBA in points per game during the 2008-09 season. Plus, he won three titles and was named the Finals MVP back in the 2006 NBA Finals.

The 42-year-old retired from the NBA after appearing in 72 games with the Heat during 2018-19 regular season. He averaged 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game on 43.3 percent shooting from the floor and 33.0 percent from deep in his final season in the league.

Considering Wade won more titles and earned more All-Star appearances in the NBA than Pierce did in three less seasons, his resume is arguably more impressive than the latter’s. But, they are two of the more talented scorers ever to play the game of basketball.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.