Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Boston Celtics guard Paul Pierce squared off against each other in the Finals in 2008 and 2010.
In 2008 Paul Pierce got the best of Bryant and the Lakers after six games and was named Finals MVP. Two years later, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers returned the favor by beating the Celtics in seven games, and Bryant was named Finals MVP.
According to Pierce, that wasn’t the only two times that they faced off with an MVP trophy was on the line. The two have been in countless All-Star games against each other over the course of their career; finally, however, during the 2009 All-Star game, they both came face to face.
“We almost fought. He and I almost got into a fight, and I know how many people knew this. So, we won in 2008, and during the 2009 All-Star game, I am on the bench. He was at the free-throw line, and I was on the bench yelling, he going to choke as he did in the finals. He looked at me, and he was pissed. I am yelling he is going to choke, so he walked over to the bench and said, what are you over here talking about? ” Said, Pierce.
“And I think we went face to face, and it was about to go down in the All-Star Game. I was like naw, I know we are not about to fight in the All-Star Game. I’m really thinking punches were about to be thrown and then we both back off and moved on. But, I really felt the tension between us.”
Bryant got his revenge on Paul Pierce in the Finals the following season and beat Pierce into the Hall of Fame. Bryant was inducted earlier this year as a part of the 2020 Hall of Fame Class, while Pierce was inducted earlier tonight.