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NBA / Oct 28, 2008 / 3:16 pm

Paul Pierce Will Prove He’s the Best Player in the World

Paul Pierce


Why will this be the best season season ever?

Chris Paul may be the MVP but Paul Pierce will prove he’s the best player in the world.

He said it. And he didn’t make two bones about it.

“I have an opinion,” Pierce said to a Spanish newspaper in the middle of the summer. “I have a right to have one and that’s the way I feel. I felt I’ve played against the best over the years and felt right now that I’m the best player in
the world.”

Though Pierce’s bold statement might upset the order that has been pounded into our heads for years, it’s not a crazy notion that he is a better basketball player than Kobe or LeBron. After LBJ’s disappointing showing in the Eastern Conference semis, and Kobe’s uncharacteristic poor shooting in Beijing this summer, the only knock on Pierce over the last four months is that he pulled a Cristiano Ronaldo with that leg injury in the playoffs.

But it’s not just because of the shortcomings of the usual suspects that Pierce will get the shine he believes he deserves; it’s because nobody knows how to stop him. In that regard, he is the anomaly. From the “Better Basketball” perspective, he’s the one elite player that doesn’t automatically jab to one side upon catching the ball on the perimeter. Watch him closely: he has an uncanny ability to get his man off-balance by going left or right with equal quickness. When Kobe, LeBron, and just about every other right-handed perimeter player catches the rock, they lift that right foot and try to move their defender with a series of jabs. Pierce doesn’t do that, and he’s better for it.

But even more so, NBA scouts have developed a book on Kobe and LeBron: bottle LeBron up with collapsing D and make him take outside shots; keep Kobe off the stripe and force him into those off-balance Jordan-esque jumpers. But how can they stop Pierce? There’s no set way to keep him under wraps. He’s a machine of countermoves. Put a quicker man on him to take away his ability to get to the rim, and he’ll bring him down to the block. Put a stronger defender on him to take away his post game and he’ll head-fake him out of his kicks before wetting a J.

Pierce has been doing this since Antoine Walker—not KG or Ray Allen—was his sidekick. Then, he was just the best player on a decent team. Now, he’s emerged as the clutch leader on the best team in the League—even though many expected that he would fade into Garnett’s shadow. While KG was credited with “changing the culture” in Boston by energizing the team’s D, it was Pierce who held the world champs together when Ray’s jumper didn’t fall or the Big Ticket couldn’t find his range.
Now, the best player on the best team in the League will prove to be the best player in the world.

Who is the best player in the world?

The “New Best Season Ever”
1. Chris Paul will be the MVP

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  • McLovin

    this is a joke right?

  • srb

    NICELY DONE!!

  • http://www.ragingspaniard.com Xavier

    Im inclined to agree, it would be cool to see how other players feel about that. One knock is that hes injury prone, but he destroyed LBJ and Kobe on his way top the title so …

    One note about the interview though, this was a QA online session from questions posed by the readers of MARCA (the Spanish newspaper) And he was directly asked if he thought he was the best player in the world, so its not like he had the intention of proclaiming anything, they just asked his opinion about that matter (my point being that he wasnt being arrogant or wanting to show off or anything)

  • Drink the Haterade (KB24 Chip 09)

    It goes like this KB24, LBJ, then there’s a whole lot of argument from there on…

    Here is one west GM’s take from last year on Kobe

    “He is also, by almost all accounts, the best player in the league. “It’s not even close,” says one Western Conference scout. “The difference between him and LeBron [James] is like [the one between] a Maserati and a Volvo.”

  • fallinup

    Wow, now he’s gonna prove it? And all it took was ten years. Two superstars. A few key free agent veterans willing to take a pay cut to win a chip. And a championship.

    You go Paul Pierce!

  • dagwaller

    I don’t really agree with Pierce’s assertion, but this article was well written.

    To the author: does Pierce play defense? Does he pass well? Does he shoot the 3 well? I believe he does most everything well, but so do a few other players in the league. What separates him other than his impressive array of offensive moves?

  • justice

    I would love to see how he proves this especially since it’s simply not true…

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…America…Get Busy Humpty…

    Kobe is 1 LeBron 1.3 and Paul 1.8

  • LakeShow84

    Ehhhhhhhh very one sided.. B-ball isnt about offense.. its about everything and yeah he might be the best player on that team but is he the leader?? Nope, KG is..

    Is he the player the ball goes to in the clutch?? I thought that was more for Ray Allen..

    The truth is possibly top ten talent but hes got too much on his side to say hes the best.. Kobe and Lebron and even Timmy D in his early years CARRIED their teams to the top..

    Paul Pierce didnt do squat (maybe a little) with the celtics when they had a good team (good talent but no HOF’s) and when they pulled the celtic connection and scooped KG and signed Ray Allen all of a sudden hes the best player??

    Dude aint never even been considered for leage MVP! Yeah hes the best all right.. And can we stop hearing he torched Kobe?? Thats how you can tell Kobe’s the best.. Everyone got something to throw at him..

    The Celtics TEAM torched Kobe with that D.. Paul Pierce got a touch foul in the last seconds of 4.. I didnt hear D-wade proclaim himself the greatest when he had the phantom foul in game 6..

    Eat a cheeseburger and shut up..

  • LakeShow84

    And come on to who ever wrote hes doing the jab step in the picture!

  • MSkittle

    LeBron struggled in the conference semis? Didn’t he have like 43 points in that Game 7 and almost lead his underdog Cavs to victory?

  • Jah

    How about this?

    Best Player in the World – Kobe Bryant
    Most Underrated – Paul Pierce

  • MB

    This is a tough sell. I get it. Pierce won a chip, he’s a great player, but that doesn’t make him even close to best in the league. Kobe, LBJ, Paul, Amare, even Wade, all better by a good margin. Also, I mean DHoward, KG, Nash, these guys are all just flat out better then Pierce. He’s not top 10 in the league, never was and never will be. Two Hall of Famers and a defensive dynamo (Posey) combined with Pierce spells a Title and honestly, if they didn’t win, it’d be a dissapointment. Get real man. Pierce is an elite player along the lines of Joe Jonson and Gilbert Arenas. He can say all he likes but he’s never been NBA 1st team, only has a few All Star appearences, and is strictly, just GOOD. Kobe is on another planet.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @LakeShow84 — For what it’s worth, KG calls Pierce “The General.” I think KG is the loud one on TV and a leader in his own way, but Pierce is THE leader if you had to pick one. Also, in the pic Pierce I’d bet is probably showing the kid (Aaron Dotson, Rainier Beach HS in Seattle, BTW) how to do a jab step.

  • ERIC

    doesnt anyone remember how much D (not defense) Pierce sucked when he was the lone all-star and player on the celtics.. they were in the crapper in the east. kobe took a crap team to the playoffs in the west. pierce is injury prone bc he is fat and doesnt have the work ethic other players have.

    he didnt destroy kobe and lebron, he outplayed them bc he wasnt the focal point of the oppositions D (KG’s intensity and Rays Shooting)..PP is VERY GOOD..but HARDLY top 10, 15 players in the league.

    GET A GRIP

  • ERIC

    and yes, the lakers were a crap team those 2 playoff exits to the Suns

  • ERIC

    Kobe, LeBron, Timmy, KG, CP3, Amare, Wade, DWill, Nash, Dwight..and thats just off the top of my head…

  • ERIC

    Well said MB

  • dueces

    i would love for pierce to prove that he’s the best player in the world. it would revolutionize the way the world looks at the ideal wing.

  • control

    “Though Pierce’s bold statement might upset the order that has been pounded into our heads for years, it’s not a crazy notion that he is a better basketball player than Kobe or LeBron”

    It’s not crazy, it’s a straight lsd tripping “oh snap I see a purple dragon!” type induced notion.

  • Drink the Haterade (KB24 Chip 09)

    dueces says:

    i would love for pierce to prove that he’s the best player in the world. it would revolutionize the way the world looks at the ideal wing.

    In what world are you living in? Dime’s Like control said

    “It’s not crazy, it’s a straight lsd tripping “oh snap I see a purple dragon!” type induced notion.”

  • doug

    this article is a joke, Paul Pierce you mean the tall janitor. This is the most in shape I’ve ever seen the guy. You put any decent player with two franchise player from there prior teams and anyone can look good. You guys he plays with KG and Ray Allen they were franchise players for each of there franchise but by no means is this cat even in Kobe’s league has ever even made NBA first team. This guy has a long way to go. Kobe has been doing this for years look at his body of work. The reason they won that series had a lot to do with James Posey and the absence of Andrew Bynum. Kobe hands down best player on the planet..if he aint better MJ he’s the closest one.

  • yoda

    i wonder how good would pp looked if he had to face this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQaVvf2VOsc

  • http://www.geocities.com/dimemag Dagomar

    Seriously?

    Lebron’s shot was off for a few games in the conference semis, then he almost willed his terrible team over the loaded Celtics by himself. 45 points in game seven . . . yeah . . . disappointing. And what’s this bullshit about people learning how to contain Kobe or Lebron? Sure, but it hasn’t exactly worked has it? And let’s not remember that both Kobe and Bron outperformed Pierce in their respective series. Pierce had a little help in the form of KG and Ray Allen, plus a great supporting cast. Hell, Pierce isn’t even the best player on his team.

    I’m not even going to go into the stats on this one, because they just make this argument look borderline infantile. Pierce is a top-ten player, granted. But he isn’t in the top five.

  • Ian

    why cant he say hes the best i dont get all the bashing is his fucking opinion he said it.

    jah
    manu is the most underrated

    drink the haterade
    werent u the one sayin that manu sucks and hes not good

    since u posted an scouts opinion theres one on cnnsi that says manu is a top 10-15 player and that injury keep them out of the finals.

    now im only posting this cuz i dont remember if it was with u that i was arguing the manu shit if u werent sorry my bad.

    now if it was u and u say that the scout talking about manu is full of shit so is the one talking about kobe.

  • Ian

    and to everyone here that are posting the pierce had kg and allen (which were losers) are full of shit kobe won with SHAQ who is ten times better than kg and allen. kobe is 0-2 in the finals being the best player and to the people than dont remember go check the lakers 04 roster.

    kobe is better am not sayin pierce is imo pierce is barely top 15 but dont go praising kobe like he carries scrubs or has won being the man. pierce woulda have chips also if he had shaq in his prime didnt he take the celts to the conf finals withhhhhhhhh antoine walker. u guys are full of shit.

  • rootsradical

    i liked pierce a lot better when he was a quiet dude putting in work on a sub par team. i wanted the celtics to win last year because i thought the Big 3 all deserved it despite my love for Kobe. now looking back, it would have been better to have the lakers win so the guys on the celtics could just keep their mouths shut.

  • Ian

    roots
    its a lose lose man
    pierce talking shit or the millions of lakers fans

  • Ian

    dont know how its gonna end but pierce is killing lebron

  • Shea O’Donnell

    on pace for 44 after 1…

  • RED

    DUb P is good not great, Difference between KOBE and PP is KOBE is a complete player(Defense and offense). Paul is a good defender but not a shut down one. Don’t say in the finals he shut kobe down. Paul ALWAYS KNEW he had help if he got beat, KG Defensive player of the year to clean up. Paul does have a sic offensive game up there wit kobe and lebron. IF not a better clutch player than Bron Bron.

  • doc

    Paul can say what he want.U cant knock how that man feel about his skills,but anyone who think he better than Kobe and Bron is on that shit.

  • heartbreaker85

    that’s what cheap championship champagne does to a player’s head. dude must be high or something.

    offensively he’s always been up there with the kobes, t-macs and vc’s. he can score, and before the freak known as lebron came into the league, pierce was the perfect combo of speed, size and strength.

    defense? nah. he couldn’t stop lebron in the semis. couldn’t guard kobe 1 on 1 without posey or garnet coming from the weak side.

    some dudes dont know how to rank players, they always look at the stats.

    cp3 is good, on offense, he gambles a lot (much like wade) on defense thus the steals. but one on one, he cant guard anyone who’s at equal footing as he is.

    same with lebron. same with howard. same with anthony. same with wade.

    its not their fault anyway, its the way the nba has been structured the last five years.

    kobe’s the best since he came from an era where he had to guard people (the opposing team’s best 2s) to actually just stay on the floor.

    pierce = best player on the best team?

    hell no. that’s kg doing the dirty work for you and keeping the game close. pierce is the BEST SCORER though while jesus’ the BEST SHOOTER.

  • Celts Fan

    Say what you want, but the man battled through and outlasted the 2 guys we all put in the top 3 (Timmy’s the other, you can argue whatever order you’d like, but anyone else in the top 3 is wrong.)

    @Eric, Steve Nash, really? What’s he ever won? He’s had TONS of talent around him over the years and never even been to the Finals. Say what you will about Truth, he took a team w/ Antoine Walker as the #2 to the Conference Finals. Pierce is better than nash at this point and is a much more complete all-around player…

  • karizmatic

    I always thougt Pierce didn’t get his just due, they don’t call him The Truth for nothing. You could make a good argument for top 5. I think you’d be really hard pressed to say he’s better than Kobe or Lebron. Although after last night I’m having some doubts since Lebron can’t hit a clutch free throw.

  • Ian

    celts fan yup u r right

    but on the nash thing i think hes great
    i rather have nash than pierce if im starting a team but thats just me remember those 2 mvps but nash in a dif category. yes he had talent around him but hes playin out west with the lakers and spurs for the last 10 years is kinda hard to get past those 2.
    they are both in the top 15-20 range in the league

    karizmatic
    top 5 is hard
    because the top 4 are a lock
    duncan kobe bron and paul in any order u want are the top 4 players in the league

  • http://good-life-inc.blogspot.com F.L.A.S.H.

    scoring: Kobe> Paul Tears
    defense: Kobe> Paul Tears
    passing: Kobe> Paul Tears
    atheletism: Kobe> Paul Tears
    playoff experience: Kobe> Paul Tears
    clutch shots taken/made : Kobe> Paul Tears

    Quoting the name of a facebook group I saw the other day: “All Kobe Bryant Haterz Can Promptly Suck a Huge Cock”

  • chris

    i dont understand this at all. i understand he’s a great player but to say he’s the best player in the league, much more the world, is just not a thought that makes sense to me. “keep Kobe off the stripe and force him into those off-balance Jordan-esque jumpers.” problem with that is kobe knows how to knock them down. only til paul pierce gets even mentioned in the same sentence as michael jordan as kobe’s been getting for years (even though i dont agree, i can still see why they’re compared) can i take this seriously.

  • WeAllLikeBasketball

    You can’t talk about a “best player” without setting some sort of standard to measure each player by. Otherwise you have Kobe fans saying Kobe is the best, Lebron fans saying Lebron is the best, and neither side is to be persuaded.

    If you want to talk purely opinion, I think that the post-Shaq Kobe is the best player to not win a championship. Many people might think Kobe is the best player in the world, and he himself may think that. But, until Kobe wins a post-Shaq championship, even in his own mind there is a sliver of doubt whether he really is. This last NBA Finals was Kobe’s chance to solidify his greatness; a Pau Gasol in his prime vs a virtually unknown bruiser Perkins, Lamar Odom vs Ray Allen both who didn’t perform great, a veteran championship point guard in Derek Fisher vs a inexperience point guard in Rondo, 3pt shooting role player vs hall of famer KG, and the supposedly best player in the world Kobe vs an All-star scorer Paul Pierce.

    On paper the Lakers were just as good if not better than the Celtics. That’s why Kobe wanted to win so much last season, and why it hurt so much when he didn’t.

    If the best player in the world was established by finding the best player on the best team, last season showed it wasn’t Kobe, and it wasn’t Lebron either.

  • busterjonez

    KG is the best player on the team. PP, a great basketball player, is just that.

    No way the Celtics take the Lakers last year if the refs don’t give them the game. The Celtics elevated the moving screen to an art form. Hand checking, illegal? Not for Boston.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQaVvf2VOsc

    Because evidence is more elucidating than assertion.

    Remember the year that Ant and PP made the conference finals? Walker gave the talk that fired the team up, while PP sat there listening with his hands on his hips. ‘Toine was the reason that team made it, not Pierce.

    Anyone who pulls the soccer star on the NBA court immediately gets written out of the best in the world discussion. Period. Wheelchair, anyone?

  • Ian

    buster
    so because antoine walker talked more than pierce he was the reason they were good
    yeah right hahahahha

  • http://ignoranceinc.blogspot.com Real

    Hes got a good argument. All you kobe dickriders must not have seen the finals last year. kobe was exposed for what he is – over rated. Tim is too old now, amare doesnt play any d period, wade doesnt do anything better than pierce at all. kg has no killer instinct. kobe is at best a fake jordan impersonator, pierce outplayed him, frustrated him, and used his ass all series, and if you say otherwise you are just a kobe dickrider or just flat out dumb. the only cat that may be better is lebron, maybe. pierce has been a monster since coming into the league, but boston didnt have anyone for a while. none of these cats can handle pierce, but he has proven he can handle them all, especially kobe. yeah kobe does all that flashy shit, but he is not nearly as effective as pierce. pierce is the better player. kg and ray were aquired to compliment paul, not the other way around. best player on the team, maybe best in the league

  • http://ignoranceinc.blogspot.com Real

    one of you dumb asses said pierce was outplayed by lebron and kobe? kg is the best player on the team? please stop smoking crack, he clearly outplayed both of them, especially kobe. he checked both of them in the playoffs and did a helluva job on both, but did they check him? hell no, their coaches knew better than that. kobe is too weak to check pierce, shit wouldnt even be fair. yall aint watchin the game, you watchin the commercials. pierce outplayed both of them, especially kobe, the shit wasnt even close. and what happened when garnetts 7 foot jumpshooting ass couldnt score 15 points in game 7 against cleveland? what did ray allen do? ill tell you what they did, they gave the ball to the best player on the team and he put the team on his shoulders and won the series for them. when did ray or kg ever do anything similar to that? and kobe needs to thank shaq for his rings, cuz he aint gettin another one, not with him leading the team. recognize real game. Pierce is the truth, stop suckin kobe dick so hard.

  • ALdsTaR

    c’mon Paul pierce needs to shut the F up man

    Where was he when boston sucked and their record was 24-58?

    kobe had a team that probably was worse withouth him then boston without PP and kobe made the playoffs!!!!

    PP you are a great player but you aint better then kobe, lebron , chrispaul, d-wade, KG, Amare, and CB4.

    At least you make the top ten players in the NBA

  • ALdsTaR

    oh and look at the comment above my first one

    hahaha shit is stupid

    KG didnt scored more then 15 in game 7 against cleveland huh? what about freaking D and rebounds heh?

    withouth kobe, shaq wouldnt have had 3 rings men!! i hate it when people say that kobe didnt do shit in the finals cuz he played very great man dont believe me? check it ou yourself :

    http://www.nba.com/finals2001/
    http://www.nba.com/finals2002/

    only time he didnt played that great(still good) was in 2000 finals

    I just killed all the kobe haters he

  • Eric

    Paul Pierce is full of crap… he won the finals MVP just cause he faked that injury… he has no worth ethic, as he continually starts the season out of shape.. I have no respect for people like him, take credit as “the best in the world” when it was a celtics team who got him the title. (Namely KG).