Paul Pierce is the greatest Boston Celtic since Larry Bird. During his prime, he was among the most ruthless offensive players in the NBA and parlayed this massive scoring talent into ten All-Star berths, four All-NBA selections and a Finals MVP in 2008. Pull up YouTube and descend down the wormhole of Pierce’s clutchness: buzzer beaters silencing frothing road crowds, playoff daggers, a rich and varied array of duels against his nemesis, Lebron James. He was The Truth. Accordingly, he was recently named to the NBA 75, cementing his place as one of the greatest basketball players ever.
And yet, the question remains: why is Paul Pierce so embarrassing all the time?
For years, Pierce has been haunted by the rumor that he faked an injury and was carried off the court in a wheelchair in Game One of the 2008 NBA Finals to cover up the shame of pooping his pants during the third quarter. What was hailed at the time as a heroic, career-defining performance (Pierce scored 19 points in the second half to propel the Celtics victory after returning from his “injury”) has since been overshadowed by a post-facto extradiegetic reading of the game.