In a video that surfaced on Wednesday, the newly retired NBA player was asked about comments that Pierce made in April about him. It happened when Pierce’s “NBA Countdown” co-host Michelle Beadle asked him who was the better NBA player between the two.
“That’s easy,” said the retired Boston Celtic.”I could say that off the bat, that’s me. If you give me Shaq [O’Neal], if you give me LeBron [James], if you give me these guys early in my career … When I was 24 years old, you give me Shaq, when I was 25, give me LeBron … I’d be sitting on five or six championships easy. I played 10 years with who?”
But in his response to TMZ’s effort to gin up a dispute between the two perennial NBA All-Stars, Wade said that he refuses to throw a shot at Pierce because it’s just not his style. Plus, he’s another Black man.
“I’m a high road kind of person, man. I let my game speak for itself,” Wade told a TMZ reporter. “One thing I won’t do is put another black man down. He’s an amazing player. I got a lot of respect for him. And like I said, I’m gonna clap when he goes into the Hall of Fame.”
Wade’s comments were far less heated than those of his wife Gabrielle Union, who found Pierce’s subjective assessment of himself as the better NBA player to be an insult to Wade as a Black man.
“This @paulpierce34 thing is wrong on many obvious levels,” she tweeted on April 6. “But what I find most troublesome is this idea of a man trying to diminish another man that looks like him, was raised like him, in order to shine a tad brighter. Sh-t isnt entertaining, it’s sad.”
On that same day, Wade’s 17-year-old son Zaire Wade slammed Pierce as well.
“I don’t wanna hear it,” he tweeted. “Dude played 19 years and won 1 ring. Not to mention we did knock them out of the playoffs, right.”
Pierce hasn’t responded to Wade’s interview at this time.