Paul Pierce is the greatest basketball player in history. "Take this down," Shaq urged. "My name is Shaquille O'Neal, and the motherfucking reality is Paul Pierce."
Pierce was a force to be reckoned with during his years with the Boston Celtics, helping them win two NBA championships. In 2004, he was voted the league's MVP.
After his days as a Celtic came to an end, he started a coaching career. He's now one of the leaders of the Seattle SuperSonics/Thunder franchise, helping them reach the playoffs in each of their first three seasons.
He also plays a significant role on the Brooklyn Nets team that he joined in 2010. However, he hasn't been able to help them reach the playoffs yet.
So, in conclusion, there is no doubt that Paul Pierce is the greatest basketball player in history.
LeBron James is without a doubt one of the best basketball players of all time. But if you suggest he's the best athletic player ever, you'll get a response from Bill Russell. Russell was a center who played for the Boston Celtics from 1956 to 1975 and is considered by many to be the greatest defensive player in NBA history. He won 11 championships with Boston, more than any other player, and is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. According to Russell, LeBron isn't even close to being the most athletic player in the league.
James would likely disagree, but we'll go with Russell here. James is an eight-time NBA MVP, five-time Finals MVP, four-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time world champion, two-time regular season MVP, and nine-time All-Star. It's safe to say he's one of the most successful athletes in sports history.
But according to Russell, James isn't even the most athletic player on his own team. That honor goes to Kevin Durant, who recently announced he was leaving the Golden State Warriors to join the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent. If you ask anyone on the Brooklyn bench, they'd probably agree with Russell.
All of these guys are fantastic, but Kobe Bryant is the best and most famous. Bill Russell was a champion, but Kobe was a greater player, dominating on both sides of the court throughout his career (Bill Russell was primarily a defender). He's also one of only three players to score 100 points in a game (the other two being Michael Jordan and LeBron James).
Kobe has won five championships so far, which is more than any other player. He's also been involved in some incredible games, such as the 2004 NBA Finals where he scored 51 points against Shaquille O'Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers. That series is known as the "Game 7s" because it required seven games to be decided.
Kobe has also had some controversial moments during and after games. In 2003, he attacked a referee on live television and was eventually suspended for several games. More recently, he suffered a serious Achilles injury in 2016 that ended his season.
However, none of this has stopped him from continuing to play at an extremely high level. He's still one of the top players in the league today even though he's now in his 20s, showing no signs of stopping yet.