Saturday , Aug , 02 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Why Paul Pierce believes he’s better than Kobe Bryant

He is known as ‘The Truth’, but Boston’s Paul Pierce sounded delusional when recently discussing his place among the NBA’s elite. According to Pierce, he is the elite, better than every single player, including the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant …

Why Paul Pierce believes he's better than Kobe Bryant

He is known as ‘The Truth’, but to some Boston’s Paul Pierce sounded downright delusional when  discussing his place among the NBA’s elite. According to Pierce, he is the elite, better than every single player, including the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.

"I have an opinion, 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." (Boston Herald, July 31/08)

That’s right. The swingman believes he’s top dog, the mid-eighties Michael Jackson of the NBA –before the Never Land Ranch nonsense and right around Thriller dropping.

Bottom line, the 2007-08 Finals MVP said it. But is Pierce right? And why would he make such a claim?

Even before last year’s playoff, Pierce could elevate his game come crunch time. On February 15th of 2006, he dropped an epic 50 points, seven rebounds, and eight dimes against Cleveland superstar LeBron James. Few could post such an impressive stat-line on James.

Then there’s the best player on the best team theory. Boston are world champions and Pierce was their top playoff performer. Over three months, night-in, night-out, he led the storied green-and-white with clutch play.

By declaring himself the game’s best, the Celtic is saying what he always believed. After all, Pierce is a scorer. And scorers must be confident. They have to believe every shot is going in and the ball is theirs with the game on the line. 

But something else is driving these comments. Rewind to draft night, 1998. Pierce was supposed to go third, but fell –on national television, mind you- to tenth. Busts like Michael Olowokandi, Raef LaFrentz, Robert Traylor, and others were taken ahead of him.

Pierce also feels his body of work has been slept-on. Until this year, trade rumors, injuries, and the underachiever label always came up when fans discussed his career. Of course, Kevin Garnett received credit for Boston’s 2007-08 regular season success.

Slights like the draft and water cooler chat have motivated Pierce. Whether you agree or disagree with his claims of being the NBA’s best player, he’s having the last laugh. And, after years of frustration, he’s laughing loudly.

Is Pierce the NBA’s best player? Is he better than Kobe Bryant? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of geoman.