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Old 08-01-2008, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
Dr. J. Naismith
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Pierce: "I'm the best player in the world"

Hmmmm .... why do I not believe him?

Originally Posted by OC Register
Paul Pierce said it. He meant it. And he still means it.

The Boston Celtics small forward/guard recently was asked by a Spanish publication whether he thought Kobe Bryant was the best player in the world.

Pierce said no. The NBA Finals MVP called himself the "best player."

He added, "There's a line that separates having confidence and being conceited. I don't cross that line, but I have a lot of confidence in myself."

On Thursday, Pierce stood by his comments, saying he is entitled to his opinion.

"That's what I said. I am a confident player and a lot of people might look at it like 'Oh, another cocky attitude,' but I don't look at it that way," said Pierce, who is in town for his annual youth basketball camp at Hangar Athletic Xchange.

"I have an opinion, I have a right to have one and that's the way I feel. I felt I've played against the best over the years and felt right now that I'm the best player in the world."

Pierce said his comments were not a knock on Bryant, who was named the league MVP. Nor was he saying that Bryant was conceited and he was confident.

"You could have asked me about any other player and I would have given you the same answer," Pierce said.

He added, laughing, "I would have said that (if he thought Bryant was conceited)."

Pierce also maintained that the best team won the NBA title last season. The Celtics defeated the Lakers, winning the best-of-7 series, 4-2.

"I think the Lakers are a great team, but I think they ran into a better team," he said. "They (Lakers) beat the best in all the Western Conference, they had the guy who was named MVP and the best record after the arrival of (Pau) Gasol. But they just ran up against the better team.

"I think they will be a great team next year. Maybe we'll see them back in the Finals."
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