The Boston Celtics star turned ESPN analyst shared why James isn't one of the top 5 greatest players ever during an episode of NBA Countdown on Tuesday.
Referencing the final episode of The Last Dance, Pierce said he developed this opinion after hearing Michael Jordan talk about how he wanted to transform the Bulls into a championship organization on par with the Celtics, 76ers and Lakers.
"I go back and I ask myself, 'What has LeBron done to build up any organization from the ground floor?'" Pierce said.
He prefaced this thought by saying, "All the great players built up their traditions and their organizations." He then mentioned Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson as examples, with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal carrying on the Lakers winning tradition years later.
Larry Bird advanced the Celtics' championship culture established by Bill Russell; Jordan brought six titles to Chicago; Tim Duncan put the Spurs on the map. You get the gist.
"So when I go back and I talk about these players and the top five players who not only built up organizations, or helped continue the organization's tradition, à la Kobe, I go back and I ask myself, 'What has LeBron [done] to build up any organization from the ground floor?'" he professed.
Once Pierce was finished, his co-hosts could only react with pure disbelief, foreshadowing Pierce's eventual place as the top trending topic on Twitter. The original clip posted to the NBA Central account has since garnered over 2 million views, as well as 3,000 more responses than retweets.
After removing his face from his hands, Jay Williams questioned how this angle is relevant when listing the five best players ever, but Pierce only circled back on his original argument.
To be clear, Pierce's "top 5" goes something like this: Jordan, Kareem, Russell, Magic and Kobe.
As the same person who once made a case for why he had a better career than Dwyane Wade, basketball fans didn't hesitate to bring up some of his most embarrassing moments. A favorite was the time James and the Cavs whooped the Celtics on the night that Pierce's No. 34 jersey was retired.