Back in 2015, Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce narrated the harrowing experiences of guarding LeBron James, while lauding his physicality.
LeBron James is considered to be one of the greatest basketball players ever. The kid from Akron is among the most accomplished players and has an illustrious resume. For 18-years now, LBJ has been putting on a show every night he takes the floor. His unique gameplay, versatility and endurance are unparalleled, due to which is compared to Michael Jordan for the GOAT debate.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has virtually achieved it all. He’s a 4-time MVP, 4-time NBA champ, 4-times Finals MVP and a 17-time All-Star. But what is more impressive is that how James has managed to be dominating the league for so long.
Being one of the most complete and durable players the game has ever seen, Bron has dominated the league for almost two decades now. In his illustrious 18-year career LBJ has averaged 27 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game on an efficient 50/34/73 shooting split.
There is virtually no player who King James hasn’t dropped several buckets on. And Paul Pierce is one of the many superstars who has had trouble guarding the Lakers superstar on several instances in his career.
“LeBron James is a caliber of physical specimen that this league has never seen before”: Paul Pierce
Back in 2015, Paul Pierce sat down with “The Players’ Tribune” and was asked to name the five toughest players he has ever guarded. Apart from mentioning Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Carmelo Anthony and Vince Carter, the Celtics legend even named LeBron James. Pierce wrote about the King:
“A 6-8, roughly 260 lb point guard/shooting guard. How ridiculous is that?
And at his size, he’s still hands down the most athletic and fastest player in the league. Whoever heard of a guy that’s 6-8, 260 lbs being faster than everybody else in the NBA — and stronger?
Like a lot of top players, you just have to hope LeBron isn’t feeling it the night you face him. Once he takes his first step off the dribble, if he gets to the side of you, there’s no staying in front of him. He’s just too strong when he gets his shoulder into your chest. And he’s also one of the best finishers with his left and right hand that this league has ever seen.
And when he’s not physically dominating his opponents, he can also pick your team apart with his passing.
His style of play just wears you out over the course of a game. He’s constantly drawing fouls and getting and-one opportunities. The only way to stop LeBron from getting an and-one is to straight up tackle him. Slapping down on his hands simply won’t work — he’s too strong.
He’s just a caliber of physical specimen that this league has never seen before. A lot of the other guys I talk about on this list are tall, wiry, skinny athletic types, but LeBron is just as athletic as they are, but he’s also stronger and faster.
You can bet that after you guard LeBron, you’re going to be sore all over for the next few days.”