Paul Pierce is an NBA Hall-of-Famer and Celtics legend, with numerous personal accolades to his name. During his playing days, "The Truth" was loved by fans, but transitioning to TV and social media after his playing days, Pierce started getting roasted for some of the statements in which he often tries to make his career look a bit better than it actually is. The latest edition was comparing himself to James Harden and saying how many championships he would have won in his position.
James Harden is the perfect player for today's offensive-minded style of NBA basketball, and that is why he has been one of the most effective scorers of the last decade. But despite being so lethal on the offensive side of the floor, his teams never quite managed to get over that hump and win a championship.
And it's not like he didn't have any help. From the young days in OKC to Houston, Brooklyn, and now Philly, Harden has almost always had that second star next to him, if not even more. But the team would never click like it needs to and eventually fall apart, despite all the talent and possibilities. Now in Philly, Harden has the best big man in the game, Joel Embiid, along with a solid supporting cast of guys like Maxey, Harris, and Green, which could make for a dark horse run in the Eastern Conference.
Being coached by Doc Rivers will be of help, as Paul Pierce, who won a championship under Doc, was asked on Gilbert Arenas's No Chill Podcast about how he will fit under his system. Instead, Pierce explained how Harden has had all this talent alongside him but no rings to show for, as he wishes it was him that had those teams around him while he was playing:
"But my thing is, when I look at that, [Joel] Embiid right now is the best big in the game, but…if I had the chance to play with the talent that Harden plays with, I'd probably be walking out of here with five championships,"
Paul Pierce, No Chill
Pierce went on to name guys like KD, Kyrie, Westbrook, Dwight, CP3, Embiid, etc., proving how Harden has had that star support around him for the majority of his career. When you put it on paper like that, it is wild to see how many good teammates and squads Harden has ran through.
On the other side, Pierce had no help until KG and Ray arrived to town later in his career. Outside of those late-career episodes in Brooklyn, Washington, and LA, Pierce really didn't have anyone else to help him win numerous championships, of course outside of Garnett, Allen, and Rondo.
It looked like the Philly trade will be the perfect fit from the jump, but Harden's game alongside Embiid has looked rocky over the past few games, as adversity has hit. Harden's poor performances in meaningful games and heavy isolation style could prove to be detrimental in the Sixers' chances to be a serious contender. If it pans out that way, Harden's legacy will always be remembered for an amazing individual that never really managed to fit into a championship team.