Paul Pierce calls LeBron probably the greatest athlete we’ve ever seen, puts him over Tom Brady

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Former NBA star Paul Pierce gave Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James a ton of credit, calling him probably the greatest athlete he’s ever seen.

Pierce even put James over NFL legend Tom Brady, who played well into his 40s and was a Super Bowl champion in the 2020 season when he was 43 years old.

“I really can’t,” Pierce said when asked if he can believe what James is able to do at his age (39 years old) right now. “It’s a joy to watch, man. And I think us as fans gotta really cherish it for however many more years LeBron can play at this level. ‘Cause I’ll tell you one thing, when I was like 34, I was waking up and it was hit or miss if I was gon’ be ready for the game.

“And I’m looking at a dude who’s 39 – LeBron is probably the greatest athlete we’ve ever seen – just athlete. We’ve never seen nobody play at this level at this age. And, yeah you could say Brady, he played until he was 40-plus, but he didn’t have to run up and down the court, jump, go out there and dunk, guard.”

Pierce also gave James credit for the fact that any team that the Lakers star is on is still a contender, calling it “crazy to hear and watch.”

It truly is amazing that James is still one of the game’s best players in his 21st season, and he has the stats to back it up. The four-time champion is currently averaging 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game while shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from 3-point range.

He’s also been fairly durable so far this season (although he is listed as out for the Lakers’ matchup on Thursday with the Golden State Warriors), appearing in 49 of the Lakers’ 56 games.

Pierce and James were fierce rivals during Pierce’s playing career, especially when the former Boston Celtics forward was playing alongside Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in Boston.

James had some epic playoff battles with Pierce during his first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers and during his time with the Miami Heat.

Even though he’s played for three different teams in his NBA career, James has found a way to win a title in each stop. He won two with the Heat, one in his second stint with the Cavs and one with the Lakers in the 2019-20 season.

Last season, he was able to lead the Lakers to the Western Conference Finals despite the team landing just the No. 7 seed in the conference for the playoffs.

James could add even more validity to Pierce’s take if he can lead the Lakers to another title this season. Los Angeles enters Thursday’s NBA action as the No. 9 seed in the West with a 30-26 record.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.