(8) Paul Pierce vs. LeBron James
Sweet Sixteen Analysis: The final Shaq is down. He’s one of the biggest (in every sense) beefer we’ve got and none of his beeves are worthy of the Elite Eight. It’s a big day for Paul Pierce – who would definitely care about this. LeBron, eh, he’s got multiple rings. That said, this was a close battle. LeBron and Paul garnered just 49 more votes, which gave them a four-percent edge.
Beef Breakdown: The battle between these elite scorers spans multiple teams, family members, and even a preseason spitting incident. And since retirement, Pierce has carried it over into the broadcast space where he’s given the opportunity to spout his opinions on King James, who in the eyes of Pierce, is not worthy of the crown (GASP!).
Best Known For: The playoff battles between these dudes were never simple and straightforward, and since they missed each other just as often as they met, the showdowns were always a little extra special.
Before Paul Pierce scolded LeBron James on TV, he battled LeBron’s family and spit at his teammates
(2) Vince Carter vs. Toronto
Sweet Sixteen Analysis: It was a closer battle for VC & Toronto than their round one matchup, but not by much. They earned 61 percent of the votes and continue to look like the wrecking ball of their region.
Beef Breakdown: Over the course of two decades, Vince Carter has gone from maybe the most beloved athlete in Toronto to maybe the most despised athlete in Toronto to … somewhere in between, but definitely closer to the first thing. Pouting, bad management, injuries, scandalous stories, and more injuries. After all that came a dismal trade, and years of the fans who once embraced Carter booing him every time he visited.
Best Known For: Not necessarily one moment, but the general shift from the face of a franchise to the enemy of all things Toronto.
Vince Carter’s 10-year beef with Toronto included Nelly, a possible body slam, and so many injuries
Matchup Prediction: The only trouble Carter & Toronto could have is if they look ahead to their Final Four matchup. LeBron and Paul are certainly capable of giving them a challenge, but the Canadian beef just has a different flavor to it. They’re looking like the Bird-Laimbeer of their region.
Relive each episode and let us know below which beef is best. Voting is open through April 7, then the Final Four will begin on April 8.
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Which beef is best?
Paul Pierce vs. LeBron James
Vince Carter vs. Toronto
25 votes total
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