Paul Pierce was in the middle of one of the strangest sequences in NBA history. Pierce was carried by his teammates to a wheelchair before he was wheeled to a locker room due to a knee injury.
Since the bizarre incident, rumors have circulated, some say, coming from LA Lakers fans, that Pierce faked the injury to go to the bathroom.
In an episode of the “I Am Athlete Podcast,” “The Truth” narrated what had happened:
“I sprained my knee. I didn’t ask for no wheelchair. You think I said, ‘Go to the back and get a wheelchair!’ I didn’t even get a chance to stand up. I was on the ground and I was like, ‘Damn, my shit loose.’ I sprained it then I got carried.
“I ain’t had to take no sh*t. Come on, let’s keep it 100. I put a knee brace on, tested it out and I was like, ‘This is the NBA Finals, I don’t care if I’m hurt, I’m going back out there.
“The only s**tting I did was on the Lakers. That’s true! Let’s keep it 100.”
Paul Pierce collided with former teammate and now ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins with 6:48 left in the third quarter. The TD Garden almost fell silent watching their superstar forward grab his knee in pain.
Years later, it emerged that Brian McKeon, Boston’s team doctor, ordered the wheelchair to be rolled out to get Pierce. With how he grimaced in pain, many thought the Celtics’ chances of beating the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals were over.
In less than two minutes, Paul Pierce, however, returned to close out the LA Lakers. He didn’t look like he was injured at all.
Pierce also debunked the truthfulness of a viral photo showing he had stains on his shorts:
“It wasn’t no stain. You know, that was superimposed on the computer. The wheelchair’s in my trophy case with the (NBA Finals ) MVP.
Paul Pierce admitted he thought of leaving the Boston Celtics during their struggles
The Boston Celtics made Paul Pierce the No. 10 pick of the 1998 NBA draft. Boston missed the playoffs in five of his nine years with the team before winning the 2008 finals.
During their struggles, “The Truth” revealed that he thought about leaving the Celtics for a team that would give him better championship aspirations.
Pierce was so disappointed in Boston that he even thought of playing for the Celtics’ eternal rivals, the LA Lakers, Pierce’s home team. Here’s what he had to say about what could have been a monumental story in 2007:
“That was always my dream (playing for the Lakers) growing up. I grew up down the street from The Forum but I never had the opportunity. … I was like, ‘Damn.’ There was a point where I was ready to get out of there when we were losing.
“I was like, ‘This ain’t it.’ I need to find a better situation. We retooled. We traded for KG (Garnett) and Ray (Allen) and that was it.
Had it not been for Danny Ainge’s bold move to trade for Garnett and Allen, Paul Pierce may have cut his Celtics’ tenure short.