Video: Paul Pierce Details 2003 Spitting Incident with LeBron James, Cavaliers

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Miami Heat forward LeBron James, left, defends against Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce, right, during the first quarter in Game 6 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Thursday, June 7, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Former Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce left Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James off his all-time top-five player list earlier this week, and retired journeyman center Kendrick Perkins believes the omission is personal stemming from a preseason spitting incident during James’ rookie season in 2003:

Perkins was Pierce’s teammate with the Celtics from 2003 until his trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder in February 2011, and the 35-year-old was James’ teammate during his second stint with the Cavs in 2014-15 and 2017-18.

Perkins previously tweeted his disagreement with Pierce before including the 42-year-old in a top-five list of his own: