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LeBron doesn’t see Paul Pierce, anyone in NBA as his rival

Oct 25, 2013, 6:50 PM EDT

LeBron James AP

Does LeBron James have a peer in the NBA? A rival?

He says no.

Back in the day, when LeBron James was with the Cavaliers, he and Paul Pierce in Boston had some epic individual battles. But LeBron says that time has passed and he doesn’t look to play one-on-one like that anymore — his goals are team goals.

At least that’s what he told Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald.

“It’s not just one guy,” James said. “I haven’t played against one individual for a long period of time — since basically it was me and Paul. Me and Paul, we had so many duels and almost every year we were going against Boston whether I was in Cleveland the last few years or Miami … So, I don’t know if there is one particular guy. There are some teams I believe are very competitive in both conferences, but it’s not just one guy.”

LeBron is preaching the team gospel, but where he is in his career that’s the right attitude.

LeBron’s legacy isn’t going to be about duels with Pierce or even Kevin Durant or Derrick Rose or anyone who comes next. It’s about rings. LeBron’s legacy now is about building his resume to compare to the all-time greats. A three-peat would help that cause — it’s about team wins for him right now.

Any other rivalries are just a distraction from the goal.

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