Spitting incident led to feud between Paul Pierce, LeBron James

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So, now we know.

With the internet abuzz Wednesday reacting to Paul Piece leaving LeBron James off of his list for Top 5 all-time NBA players, many were wondering what would lead the former Celtic down such a path. Appearing on ESPN Thursday, a former teammate of both players Kendrick Perkins offered some much-needed context.

"Here is the thing, Paul Pierce's list is personal," Perkins explained. "We don't talk about this, but Paul and LeBron have never liked each other since LeBron's rookie year."

Perkins cited an incident during the duo's first NBA meeting in an exhibition game when Pierce spat toward the Cavaliers bench.

"It was a clear spit," he said. "Ever since that moment LeBron James and Paul Pierce hate each other. They don't speak to each other."

Perkins did note that "there is no way in hell you can't have LeBron in your Top 5" when looping back to the list.