Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce made headlines this week when he called it “sweet” to face Richard Jefferson during his NBA career.
Jefferson, who faced Pierce during his time with the then-New Jersey Nets as well as several other stops (including the Cleveland Cavaliers) responded with a video showing that he and the Nets played pretty well against Pierce.
— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) March 13, 2023
Pierce clarified his comment, saying that Jefferson was on a better team, but that he knew he had historical games against the forward.
Wasn’t talking about team matchup individual match up of course your team was better than mine I just know I had a couple historic games with Rj as my primary defender 🤔 https://t.co/Uxxc6lvtro
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) March 15, 2023
In that case, Pierce does have a point.
Per StatMuse, Pierce had six games where he scored 30 or more points against Jefferson during his time with the Nets. On Dec. 1, 2001, Pierce dropped 48 points on Jefferson and the Nets, shooting 13-for-34 from the field and 17-for-18 from the line in that game.
However, Pierce wasn’t lighting up the scoreboard every time they faced off. For his career, Pierce averaged 20.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 36 games against Jefferson.
Pierce and Jefferson both have a ton of pride, and they both were NBA champions during their careers. Pierce, a Hall of Famer, has far more accolades than Jefferson, but he may have been a little ambitious to say it was “sweet” facing off against the former Cavs forward.
Pierce and Jefferson faced off just twice during Jefferson’s Cavs career, but both players were well past their primes by then.
For his career, Pierce made four All-NBA teams, 10 All-Star teams and was named to the NBA’s 75 Anniversary Team. He averaged 20 points or more in eight different seasons in the NBA, finishing his career with averages of 19.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
When he teamed up with Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in Boston, Pierce finally was able to make a deep playoff run, going to two NBA Finals and winning one against the Los Angeles Lakers.
It will be interesting to see if Jefferson, who isn’t afraid to speak out and defend himself, has another response for Pierce in this saga.