“I Ain’t Never Seen That Outside Of Magic Johnson”: LeBron James Earned Unique Distinction Before NBA Debut Impressing His Future Rival

Published 02/12/2023, 5:10 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

It is not easy for players to put a strong foot forward when they enter the league with gargantuan expectations. Although, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers outperformed others after entering the league, beating the pressure in 2003. The draft class of James is considered to be one of the best. Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, and Kyle Korver were some of the superstars of the 2003 draft. 

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After impressing the entire world with his latest milestone, two Boston Celtics legends sat down to talk about the veteran forward’s greatness. Though both were formidable rivals of LeBron James, nothing could stop them from crediting the star for his most outstanding achievement.

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce sit down to talk about LeBron James

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In a recent interview for ‘Showtime Basketball,’ the big ticket and the truth discussed the greatness of the 38-year-old. When sharing about the pressure James had to face while entering the league, Pierce mentions, “The pressure that was put on him while coming to the league and to live up to those expectations, cause there was like ‘he could be the greatest to play the game.’ He came in with the nickname ‘King.’ I ain’t never seen that outside of Magic [Johnson]”. 

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Like the 4x champion, Magic Johnson also entered the league with huge expectations of his name. Pierce continues, “Usually you earn that while you in the league. For him to live up to it and probably surpass the expectations, that’s tough”, crediting the four-time MVP. 

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Both the legends believe James will end up with 40,000 points before he retires. KG added, “He’s going to surpass 40 plus…… He’s going to have 40,000 points, Pierce!” explaining in shock. Pierce replies, “You got to be not good, but you got to be great, great for so long, and you got to be healthy,” giving the scoring leader his flowers. 

LeBron James completes Paul Pierce’s challenge

During the Lakers’ game with the Oklahoma City Thunder, James was less than 30 points from becoming the NBA scoring leader. Paul Pierce on Twitter tweeted, “If Lebron gets it tonight, he’s the GOAT if not tonight #2”, challenging the 38-year-old. 

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Watch this story: LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Draymond Green, and other NBA stars enjoying the NFL playoffs craze.”

However, James scored 38 the same night to become the NBA scoring leader and win Pierce’s challenge. Pierce later showed his love and respect for the King through a tweet. Though both have been fierce rivals on the court, James and Pierce continue to show love to each other. 

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Written by:

Rohan Dharmalingam

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One take at a time

Rohan Dharmalingam is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Rohan has been following the NBA for eight years now, after the sorcery of Stephen Curry from beyond the arc made him fall in love with the sport. He likes delving deeper into the nitty-gritty of the league by following the analyses of NBA commentators like JJ Reddick and Shams Charania.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra

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