Paul Pierce rooted for rival LeBron James because of his loathing of the Warriors

Danny La/Danny La-USA TODAY Sports

On HBO's Any Given Wednesday this week, Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce joined Bill Simmons to talk hoops and the things he's learned/accomplished throughout his career.

Ultimately, the conversation turned to the 2016 NBA Finals. Pierce, who has an extensive history of intense battles with Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, said something rather surprising — he was rooting for him vs. the Golden State Warriors last season:

“I respect LeBron. People think we have a hate for each other, but I totally respect what he’s done,” he said. “[But last season] was the first time I was happy he won [an NBA championship]—the first time. [I didn’t like] the other times. I just didn’t want Golden State to win last year, because I was just tired of hearing about the 73 wins. 'They gonna be better than the [1995-96] Bulls.' And I think the Bulls team that won 71 games was the greatest team of all time. And I didn’t want that team to be in that conversation.”

Pierce has recently been on a crusade expressing his disapproval of the Warriors, and more specifically, Durant's decision to join the team this offseason. This didn't stop on this episode of Any Given Wednesday, as Pierce didn't sugarcoat his feelings:

“Golden State choked … Seriously. I mean, 3-1? 3-1? You’re not supposed to lose. 3-1, you should never lose. Golden State choked.”

Fighting words.

The full interview can be viewed below: