Paul Pierce Clears Up Longstanding Speculation That He Left NBA Finals in a Wheelchair Because He Had to Boo-Boo

Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics returns to the court after being taken off in a wheelchair in the third quarter of Game One of the 2008 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers on June 5, 2008.
Photo: Kevin C. Cox (Getty Images)

Paul Pierce’s nickname is “The Truth.”

So, don’t expect Pierce to lie about why he left the 2008 NBA Finals in a wheelchair.


Let me set the scene for you: The Boston Celtics were anchored by the Big Three—Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and The Truth. They were playing against longtime rivals Los Angeles Lakers when Kobe Bryant went up for a jumper and Pierce jumped to defend against the shot and suddenly collapsed to the floor. Pierce writhed in pain and was taken to the locker room in a wheelchair. Celtics fans thought all hope was lost. Minutes later, Pierce emerged, running from the locker room and the rest is either history or bullshit, depending where you stand.

According to the Big Lead, many began comparing Pierce’s in-game heroics to Willis Reed, who returned to play in the 1970 NBA Finals after suffering a thigh injury and torn muscle that had previously kept him out of Game 6 while covering Wilt Chamberlain.

Well, it turns out that Pierce wasn’t really hurt, after all. In fact, the actual story, as with most myths, is less heroics and a bit more messy. It turns out that while Pierce was covering Kobe’s jump shot, he sharted.

I wish I was kidding. Internet sleuths have already found the proof and it’s not for the faint of heart.


While Pierce did go to the locker room writhing in pain, what many assumed was a leg injury was actually just an “accident” and the wheelchair served as cover.

The retired NBA forward who now works as an analyst for ESPN, decided he’d clear up the rumors before Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.


Jalen Rose, the best big point guard not named Magic Johnson, just cut to the chase and asked Pierce: “Were you streaking?” Pierce laughed and admitted that the wheelchair was because he had to go to the bathroom. So there you have it—yes, it was a shitty situation but The Truth is nothing if not honest, and now all of America knows that Pierce boo-boo’d himself on the largest stage in the NBA.

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.