Guided by head coach, Doc Rivers, the Big 3 era Celtics were no joke on the basketball court and it took a lot for LeBron James to get past them in the NBA Playoffs during James’ time playing in the NBA’s Eastern Conference in two stints for the Miami Heat and in two stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On this week’s episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, I checked in with Ryan Hollins who played on the Boston Celtics.
Among the topics that we discussed was Paul Pierce‘s harsh commentary of James. Pierce is now an analyst on ESPN.
Ryan Hollins played for the Celtics and shared that James had holes in his game before he had pure dominance in the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals. “Until he became King, when we were up 3-2 and he came into Boston and little kids had, ‘Eff LeBron’ t-shirts on and the crowd was so savvy,” said Hollins.
“That was our championship to walk away with, until then LeBron was seen as soft. We thought he wouldn’t show up in 4th Quarters, we thought he wasn’t the real dude and when things got tight, he wouldn’t be able to go out and make plays. And if Paul Pierce could stay out of foul trouble, Paul was just as good at creating his own shot in clutch moments. So we’ve seen clutch Paul Pierce. Clutch Paul Pierce outshined Kobe Bryant. People fail to realize Paul Pierce was maybe the best player on the planet for that year (2008)…so Paul was really looked over because he had so many mediocre years until Kevin Garnett and those guys got there. But if Paul Pierce wants to argue and say as soon as I got the proper supporting cast, you saw what my numbers were and you saw what I did. So maybe if there’s a three-peat by Paul’s Celtics there’s a different conversation but, he’s legitimate and understand that he doesn’t have the same respect for LeBron James. I think he goes overboard because he doesn’t have the same respect the same way Isaiah Thomas’s is was like, “Shoot, Magic and Bird gave me more of a fit than Michael” you know what I’m sayin’? Like, “Michael only beat us one year.” They don’t have that same respect for Michael Jordan. So I understand where both of those guys are coming from. When you look at the grand scheme of their careers and what they’ve been able to accomplish, you can’t take away anything from either of those guys as a competitor, I understand holding his weight. Holding those guys own weight.”