Before the 2016-17 NBA season started, legendary small forward Paul Pierce announced that it would be his last season in the National Basketball Association. Ending one of the more legendary careers in the history of the league. A career that included 10 all star appearances, an all-NBA second team appearance, a three point contest victory, an NBA championship and an NBA Finals MVP award. It has been without doubt a hall of fame career for The Truth.

In his prime, Paul was one of the best players in the league, and was known for his ability to make clutch shots.

He averaged a career-high 26.8 points while shooting 47.1% from the floor in the 2005-06 season. And arguably had his prime years in the 2000's with various seasons averaging over 20 points per game and making the all star teams each season. As Pierce focuses on the next chapter, many NBA players and legends have sent their farewells to the Boston Celtics legend. LeBron James is one of those people.

LeBron James has farewell message for Paul Pierce

LeBron James is very familiar with Paul Pierce. They have shared many entertaining battles in the past, both in the regular season and in the playoffs. Pierce and his Boston Celtics team was a huge reason for LeBron's decision in 2010 to take his talents to the Miami Heat.

King James struggled early in his career to get past the talented Celtics team during the playoffs. The team that featured other legends such as Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. So the respect is there, LBJ knows how fantastic of a player Pierce was and the mark he made on his career. LeBron stated:

“He put his mark on this game...

Somebody I’ve had a lot of battles with, somebody I’ve always respected and competed against and pushed me in the Eastern Conference for quite a while. A champion. His numbers and what he was able to do out on the floor speaks for itself. So I would say his next stop is the Hall of Fame. Great ride. He had a hell of a ride for sure.”

LeBron is endorsing Paul Pierce as a Hall Of Famer.

Whether he is or not has yet to be decided, but he certainly has a career that puts him in the conversation. And when the day finally comes, the likelihood is that we will be seeing Pierce's name in the hall of fame, and in the Boston Celtics' rafters.

LeBron's biggest rival?

When you think of LeBron James and his biggest rival throughout his career, the names that usually come to mind would be Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Tim Duncan.

But as LeBron has said himself, Pierce was his biggest rival. During his first 7 years in the league as a Cavalier, they would regularly feature in exciting matchups in the regular season and playoffs where both players would go off with crazy performances.

Then when LeBron joined the Heat, this trend continued. They would keep meeting eachother in the playoffs, putting on entertaining duels and hitting clutch shots over one another. But since that time, Pierce has battled Father Time and the rivalry hasn't been the same in recent years.

But one thing we can all agree on is that this was always one of the more entertaining rivalries in the NBA, so it's sad to see it officially come to an end in 2017.