SHORTLY AFTER THE CELTICS WON the NBA championship in 2008, forward Paul Pierce was asked whether Lakers rival Kobe Bryant, then considered by many to be the best player in the world, was truly the world’s best.
“I don’t think Kobe is the best player,” Pierce said. “I’m the best player. 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.”