Paul Pierce and Richard Jefferson faced off against one another plenty of times during their NBA careers and seem to have some beef going on now.
Pierce added a bit of fuel to the fire recently by saying that Jefferson is the most overrated player he has ever played against. The Hall of Famer did say Jefferson’s name while laughing, so perhaps it’s just a bit of a playful jab at the former Cleveland Cavaliers champion.
“I’d rather guard LeBron, Kobe, T-Mac, before @carmeloanthony. He used to hurt my chest. He a bulldog! He gon make you feel this 30.”
– Paul Pierce on the most underrated player he matched up with
[Then @Rjeff24 caught a stray 🤣]
— I AM ATHLETE (@IAMATHLETEpod) April 12, 2023
“Overrated that I played against,” said Pierce. “I’ma say Richard Jefferson.”
Just last month, Jefferson clapped back in a strong way after Pierce said it was “sweet” to face him during his career. Pierce later clarified his comment, but made sure to point out he had some “historic” games against the 42-year-old.
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
Jefferson and Pierce played each other a total of 46 times during their professional careers, with Pierce seeing more overall success, but Jefferson claiming eight of their 10 playoff matchups.
It’s hard to argue against the notion that Pierce was a better overall player than Jefferson, and he certainly proved that in those 46 contests by recording 21.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game. On the other hand, Jefferson recorded 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.6 steals per game in those matchups.
It’ll be interesting to see if Jefferson responds to the latest comments from Pierce and continues the entertaining feud.
Since retiring from the league a few years ago, Jefferson has made a name for himself in the media world. He has a prominent role on ESPN’s “NBA Today” show and oftentimes can be heard as a game analyst for the company.
He’s likely going to pay very close attention to what the Cavaliers will do in the upcoming NBA Playoffs. Cleveland is set to begin its first-round series against the New York Knicks on Saturday evening.
It’ll be Cleveland’s first playoff game since the 2017-18 season, which was LeBron James’ final campaign with the team before signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Cleveland has home-court advantage in the series, and that bodes well for its chances. The Cavs went 31-10 at home during the 2022-23 regular season.