Video: Paul Pierce says NBA players today are scared of LeBron James

Robert Marvi
2 Min Read

LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers are one win away from clinching a spot in the 2020 NBA Finals.

For James, it would mean that in each of his last nine postseason appearances, he would have made it to the championship series.

Paul Pierce, one of James’ old rivals, said on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” that today’s players fear James, but that players of a previous era did not.

“Player of today are scared of LeBron,” said Pierce. “If they see LeBron standing in front of ’em, fear shakes ’em. I know this. My era is out the league. We weren’t afraid of LeBron, but these guys today, he strikes fear in these guys. I can see it.

James and Pierce had some fierce playoff battles several years ago. In Game 7 of the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals, both stars went mano a mano in the final minutes as Pierce’s Boston Celtics eked out a win.

The Celtics beat James’ Cleveland Cavaliers again in the second round two years later, leading to the Akron, Ohio native’s stunning move to the Miami Heat.

In the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, both players met again in a hotly contested Game 7, but this time James emerged as the victor.

Years ago, James had a somewhat different reputation around the league, especially since he had yet to win his first championship.

But in recent years, he has been widely considered not only the best player on the planet but also one of the sport’s greatest winners.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and fell in love with the Nick Van Exel-led Lakers teams. He truly cherishes the Kobe Bryant-era of Lakers basketball and the five world championships that came with it, and is looking forward to the team's next NBA title.