The reason why Paul Pierce was wheeled off the court in Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals remains one of the biggest mysteries in Celtics lore.
During a recent Showtime basketball interview, Jaylen Brown tried to get answers from The Truth himself.
The segment featured Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Brown. Towards the end, Brown stepped forward with the burning question. "I want to know what happened in the playoffs when you had to get in the wheelchair,” he said.
Pierce has provided conflicting accounts over the years. For the longest time, he claimed he sprained his MCL, though the fact that he returned to the tunnel so quickly always made that claim questionable.
During ESPN’s coverage of the 2019 NBA Finals, Pierce confessed that he actually just had to use the bathroom — seemingly validating years of conspiracy theories. “I had to go to the bathroom, something went down, I had to go to the bathroom,” he said at the time.
Two years later, however, Pierce dispelled his own admission in colorful terms. "I can’t believe people believe ... so listen to this, I want fans to hear this. If you poop your pants, does it make sense to sit down and mush it in a wheelchair? No," he told Michelle Beadle. "I would walk back there straight to the bathroom. Why would I need a wheelchair if I pooped my pants? You don’t sit down on your poop.”
During the Showtime segment, Pierce stuck to that version of events.
“I sprained my MCL, and the doctor said ‘no, no, no, don’t put no weight on it,’” said Pierce. “I’m like, ‘Alright, I’m going to stand up. He’s like, ‘Don’t put no weight on it.’ Then they carried me. I didn’t ask for that. I didn’t say ‘go get the wheelchair.’”
Interestingly enough, everybody, including Garnett, was chuckling during Pierce’s explanation.
“Everybody talkin’ ‘bout I had to take a [expletive],” said Pierce. “Get the [expletive] outta here.”
Unfortunately, nobody threw Pierce’s own bathroom admission back in his face. For what it’s worth, he quickly returned to the game and finished with 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
That might be the only receipt anybody needs.