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#pounditSunday, July 21, 2024

Ex-NBA player offers surprising opinion on Paul Pierce-Dwyane Wade debate

Paul Piercein a suit

February 20, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NBA great Paul Pierce is honored for being selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team during halftime in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Paul Pierce versus Dwyane Wade debate has been given new life this offseason, and a former NBA player added a surprising opinion.

The argument — which revolves around which of the two Hall of Famers had a better career — has been a mainstream topic of discussion since 2019. Pierce has recently spoken up about the topic once more. Wade has since responded.

Former NBA player turned analyst Richard Jefferson weighed in on the debate during a recent episode of his “Road Trippin'” podcast with Channing Frye. While Jefferson praised Wade and appeared to lean toward the Heat legend overall, Jefferson did state one area wherein he believed Pierce to have the edge: crunch time (5:23 mark).

“I will say this. Ball in the hands for a last-second shot, I would probably fear Paul Pierce more than D-Wade. … I need a bucket. Down by one, I need a two. Down by two, I need a three. Tie game. I’m taking Paul Pierce in that situation over D-Wade,” said Jefferson.

Jefferson cited Pierce’s virtually unlimited arsenal of offensive moves at an “elite level” that made the Celtics superstar a nightmare in the clutch.

Most of the conversation surrounding the Pierce-Wade debate has been one-sided in Wade’s favor, but Jefferson did give Pierce the edge in that one big regard.

Pierce built a reputation for being a clutch player during his career. He’s also just one of 12 players in NBA history with over 2,000 three-pointers, giving him an inside-out threat that Wade never possessed when it came to crunch-time situations. But of course, there’s more to the overall Wade-Pierce debate than just being the better performer down the stretch of games.

Jefferson was a prominent member of a contending New Jersey Nets side in the mid-2000s just as both Wade and Pierce turned into titans in the East.

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