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LeBron James and Paul Pierce share their thoughts on the Wizards-Cavs rivalry

Paul Pierce and LeBron James respect one another, but on the court they put all that in the rear view on the court as they fight for the same trophy. Plus, Glen Rice Jr. assigned to D-League and some Wizards players take the phrase "big screen" to a new level.

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

1. LeBron James shares feelings on former Wizards-Cavaliers rivalry

LeBron enjoyed being on the victorious side of many heated Wiz-Cavs playoff series from 2005-2008 back in his first stint with Cleveland. As his second run with his hometown team begins, James shared his thoughts about the rivalry that existed between the two teams.

"That was a rivalry," James told earlier this week, reflecting on his first seven seasons in Cleveland before spending four in Miami. "We talk about rivalries. That was a rivalry at that time. It was a lot of bad not only bad blood but words and everything coming from that camp. Coming from our camp. It was great for basketball at that time. It was must-see TV. I was happy to be a part of the victorious side."

Let's see if we can change that this time around.

2. Paul Pierce, James "fighting for the same girl"

Don't take that too literally, but it was how Pierce explained his competitive ways with LeBron. Each year they both are fighting to hold that prized trophy at the end of the season, thus the "same girl" metaphor. There are tons of subplots in this rekindled rivalry between the two teams, and with Pierce in the mix this time around it shouldn't lack for excitement, either.

"I think a lot of it is really misunderstood," Pierce said Thursday. "If I see LeBron walking down the street, it's not going to be no fistfight. I've got a lot of respect for him. It's like fighting for the same girl. How am I going to be cool with that guy? I've got total respect for him as a person. It's just the thing we go through on the court."

Pierce also opened up about a few more things, including his time with the Big Three in Boston as well as Miami's former Big Three.

3. Glen Rice Jr. assigned to Fort Wayne Mad Ants of D-League

This year's Las Vegas Sumer League MVP has quickly gone from potential starter in Bradley Beal's absence to out of the rotation and back in the D-League thanks to an inability to a.) be a threat in catch-and-shoot situations, b.) score without over-dribbling, and c.) quite simply, put the ball in the hoop. Rice shot just 14.5% from three-point range this season, and 20% overall in five games. The Wizards have enough options now in the backcourt without needing to wait on Rice's game to come around.

4. Wizards take "big screen" to another level

NeneKevin Seraphin, and Otto Porter sat alone in the stands at the Verizon Center yesterday. No, they weren't practicing positive mental vibes for tonight's game, envisioning themselves on the court being successful. They were looking just above the court, at the team's jumbotron, playing a FIFA video game.

I have to admit that I am horrendous at any and all video games. And when it comes to FIFA, I'm the guy that will just try to tackle you as hard as possible and then sprint straight ahead, praying that I find the right buttons on the controller to kick the ball at least in the direction of the net if I can somehow get close enough to it.

In general, me and video games don't work well together.

But even I can admit that if you don't think this looks awesome, you need to redefine your definition of awesome.

5. Wizards and Cavs go head-to-head tonight for first time this season

And so it begins.

The Wizards (7-3) and Cavs (5-5) will go at it on ESPN tonight in the first of four meetings this season. Not only will this game come with bragging rights but also will give Washington a chance to prove to NBA fans around the world that they can beat the best. Despite their .500 record, Cleveland should be one of the best by season's end. And with LeBron leading the charge against Pierce and the Wizards, you can bet there will be a lot of eyes tuned in this nationally-televised marquee matchup.

Tip off is at 8 p.m. at the Verizon Center. The game will be shown live nationally on ESPN and locally on Comcast SportsNet. You can listen on 99.1 WNEW as well.