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The full story behind Paul Pierce’s infamous wheelchair incident remains untold. He continues to deny the embarrassing gaffe even though he once admitted it himself.
During the third quarter of Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals, Pierce contested a shot from Kobe Bryant and crashed to the floor after tripping over Kendrick Perkins. The Celtics forward fell hard on his knee.
Pierce stayed down for awhile and grabbed his knee in pain before eventually being taken off of the court in a wheelchair. Despite what looked like a severe injury, he returned to the court after just a few minutes and helped lead Boston to the first of four wins en route to the NBA Championship.
Nobody knows why Pierce needed a wheelchair, except for the man himself (and maybe some of the team trainers), but it was strange that he was able to return to so quickly. As a result, there has long been speculation that the eventual NBA Finals MVP simply needed to use the bathroom— or that he may have already done so in his dungarees.
Pierce even admitted as much on live television back in 2019.
And yet, he continues to deny the unfortunate incident.
So what really happened?! We may never know.
Here is what Paul Pierce had to say last year:
If you poop your pants, does it make sense to sit down and mush it in a wheelchair? I would walk back there and go straight to the bathroom. Why would I need a wheelchair if I pooped my pants? You don’t sit down on your poop, right? It doesn’t make sense.— Paul Pierce, via What Did I Miss? with Michelle Beadle
To Pierce’s credit, the hypothetical questions are fair. His story makes some sense. But it continues to beg the question of why he would admit to having to go to the bathroom during the broadcast in 2019.
The plot only thickens with Pierce’s most recent conversation about the highly-debated topic.
Pierce was recently asked about the 2008 ‘Wheelchair Game’ by Celtics star Jaylen Brown. He offered a story about a sprained MCL. It was the first time that the injury was revealed publicly.
I sprained my MCL. Don’t believe all them rumors that I had to go to the bathroom. […]
The doctor said ‘no, no, no, don’t put no weight on it.’ 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. […]
I stood up, and I was like ‘Man, let me see how this feels. Alright, alright. It’s cool, it’s cool.’ I’m back out there. They didn’t let me put no weight on it, so when I put the weight on it I knew I was cool. I was like alright, I’m good, give me the knee brace because it felt kind of loose.— Paul Pierce, via SHOWTIME Basketball
Neither Brown nor Kevin Garnett, nor Jayson Tatum seemed convinced. Their skepticism was visible.
Pierce’s story, if true, clears things up. Is it true?! That is the question that will forever remain.
Pierce says he sprained his MCL. He points to the antics that occur when one is in need of a bathroom and contrasts that behavior to his need for a wheelchair. All fair points to make, though the math doesn’t add all of the way up.
Why did he say otherwise in 2019? Why hasn’t he told the MCL story before?