Paul Pierce and Allen Iverson matched up several times over the course of their NBA career, but each time The Truth was always praying for his life.
Allen Iverson, a hall of fame inductee in 2016 vs Paul Pierce, a hall of famer from the 2021 class was a matchup that didn’t happen much, and Paul Pierce is thankful for that. The Truth was no defensive slouch, but Allen Iverson was on another level in terms of offense. As a rookie, he had his moment and one of the most iconic ones I must say, putting Michael Jordan on skates and crossing him up to score over him.
If someone in his rookie year had the confidence to put a 3-peat champion on the hardwood like that, there is not much stopping him either. Iverson wasn’t the tallest on the court, but his athleticism more than made up for it. His influence was so much so that he started a craze in little kids to get their hair braided.
Allen Iverson ended his career with 24,368 points, in an era where the game focused on the mid range, and paint scoring. One can only imagine what kind of damage he would do in the modern era with handles and scoring ability like that.
Paul Pierce admits he was scared to guard Allen Iverson on ESPN’s The JUMP
Kobe Bryant – 35.4 PPG
Allen Iverson- 33 PPG
LeBron James- 31.4 PPG
Gilbert Arenas- 29.3 PPG
D-Wade- 27.2 PPG
Paul Pierce- 26.8 PPG
Dirk- 26.6 PPG
Carmelo Anthony- 26.5 PPG
Vince Carter- 24.2 PPG
Imagine if these dudes played in 2019 like this! Good times.
— Ben Stinar (@BenStinar) August 9, 2019
Paul Pierce was not any ordinary scorer, he himself was an offensive threat, winning the finals MVP and his lone championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008. While he can say he has that over AI, as a pure scorer, AI got Paul beat. It wasn’t even close. AI was so good that some of his opponents chose not to defend him completely. Better not to be on a poster than try to guard AI- that was their mindset.
“Man, I’m not even gon’ lie to you … I didn’t match up with him, but I knew I was in situations in pick-and-roll where I switched out on him. And I’m not gon’ lie — I was scared to death. I could play defense and all, but I knew I couldn’t slide my feet with Allen Iverson. Every night when you looked up at the ‘SportsCenter’ highlights, he was crossing somebody, he was puttin’ somebody in the mix. So all I knew is when I switched on him, I was gonna give him that ole defense.”
-Paul Pierce to ESPN on having to guard Allen Iverson