Paul Pierce reveals his unforgettable ‘battle’ with Kobe Bryant during a Nike commercial

Paul Piece had a strong rivalry with Kobe Bryant during their NBA careers (Getty Images)

Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce has revealed that Kobe Bryant challenged him to a serious battle while they both were filming a Nike commercial.

Pierce triumphed against Bryant and the Lakers to win the NBA Finals with the Celtics in 2008 and was named the Most Valuable Player for the Finals after averaging 22 points per game over the six-game series.

Pierce and Bryant enjoyed a strong rivalry throughout their NBA careers but the Celtics legend claims his Lakers rival did not let up even when they were off the court.

‘I think after the two finals, like younger we didn’t have much of a relationship,’ Pierce told ESPN.

Paul Pierce’s Boston Celtic beat Kobe Bryant’s LA Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals (AFP via Getty Images)

‘I had a chance to really meet him when he first came out of high school when he was shooting an Adidas commercial, that’s where I first met him.

‘As a Boston Celtic and a Laker, you kind of hated the Lakers so we didn’t have much of a relationship.

‘But as we got older we played in two finals against each other, we ended up business partners later in our career, we grew up with mutual respect for one another, so at times when I’d see him off the court we’d talk hoops, we’d talk business, we would start developing that relationship.

‘I’ll tell you a story, we were shooting a commercial in Los Angeles at an airport hangar with a lot of the Nike guys.

Paul Pierce was the MVP for the 2008 NBA Finals after Boston Celtic beat the LA Lakers (AFP via Getty Images)

‘Casually, me and him are going one on one for the camera, [the director said] ‘okay, guys, let’s shoot the shot of you going one on one’.

‘I’m casually dribbling, like a walkaround, shoot-around type of thing. So I’m going through a move and he pokes the ball away out of my hand.

‘I’m like, ‘let’s get this shot’. So I get the ball again and he pokes the ball out again and I’m like, ‘okay, hold on’.

‘The next thing I know we’re engaging in the commercial in a one-on-one battle. And that’s how competitive he was.

‘You’re supposed to dummy it up and it just turned into a one-on-one battle, we’re both sweating, like I’m getting a two or three-minute battle in a commercial shoot. I’ll never forget that.’

Pierce also admits he fells like he’s ‘lost a brother’ following Bryant’s death.

‘Even right now it doesn’t even feel real,’ said Pierce.

‘A guy who motivated me, who brought the best out of me on and off the court.

‘And I tell people today there would be no Paul Pierce ‘The Truth’ without Kobe.

‘If people know where the nickname ‘The Truth’ came from, it was from me having a really good game against Kobe Bryant and Shaq dubbing me ‘The Truth.’ … I felt like I lost a brother. I felt like I lost a family member.’


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