Paul Pierce Jan 13, 2010; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (34) reacts during the first half against the New Jersey Nets at the Izod Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA GOAT debate is between Michael Jordan and LeBron James. If you want to argue Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell or Magic Johnson deserve to enter the chat, fine. But Paul Pierce?

Paul Pierce was a really good NBA player and he’s a deserving Basketball Hall of Famer. But nobody thinks Pierce belongs in the conversation for greatest NBA player of all-time. Well, nobody except for one active NBA player, apparently.

The Athletic recently conducted its third anonymous NBA player poll which includes the question, “Who’s the greatest player of all time.” Michael Jordan and LeBron James were aptly listed one and two on the poll. Kobe Bryant was third. And tied for fourth place was Steph Curry, Magic Johnson and Paul Pierce, garnering one vote each. This isn’t meant as a knock on Pierce, but it’s hilarious that anyone thinks he deserves GOAT consideration. Amazingly, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar didn’t get a vote.

Maybe it was one of Pierce’s friends. Maybe it was someone who was just attempting to troll the polling system. Or maybe the former Celtics star picked up a rabid fan thanks to his new gig on FS1’s Undisputed. But Paul Pierce getting a GOAT vote and sitting next to Skip Bayless who calls LeBron James the ninth best NBA player of all-time is quite the combo.

If Armando Benitez is the worst MLB player to ever receive an official Hall of Fame vote, Paul Pierce has to be the worst NBA player to enter the GOAT conversation. Not so fast. Last year’s anonymous poll saw Tracy McGrady get a vote.

[The Athletic]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to