Paul Pierce presents an alternative reason he needed a wheelchair 11 years ago

Paul Pierce is an NBA Finals legend. (Getty Images)
Paul Pierce is an NBA Finals legend. (Getty Images)

On the 11th anniversary of his infamous wheelchair game in the 2008 NBA Finals, former Boston Celtics star turned ESPN commentator Paul Pierce has come clean.

Or dirty.

In the aftermath of his heroic return to that Game 1 victory, Pierce said he heard a pop. That may be true, but it may not have been in his knee, as we assumed.

We’ll let Pierce tell the story:

“I have a confession to make,” Pierce told millions of viewers from his nationally televised pulpit prior to Game 3 of this Finals. “I just had to go to the bathroom.”

Fellow ESPN panelists Jalen Rose and Chauncey Billups asked the key questions: “No. 1 or No. 2?” and, “Why did you need a wheelchair to get to the bathroom?”

“Something went down,” he said. “I had to use a wheelchair.”

Later, on Twitter:

The implication here is that a story that made the Reddit rounds some four years ago was indeed true. Said story, via user ihavepaper: “Friend who loves the Lakers swears on his life that Paul Pierce faked an injury because he had to go take a s—-. He always tries to point out a poop stain that is visible when they lift PP up.”

The Ringer’s Jason Concepcion did a, ahem, deep dive into this matter in 2017. It included an investigation of a supposed poop stain on Pierce’s shorts, and the official ruling was that this was a myth, since said stain was actually from Game 2.

Au contraire. Pierce seemingly just confirmed ihavepaper’s suspicions.

Upon further review, this story is all the more remarkable, because Pierce didn’t just require a wheelchair. He whispered god knows what in former Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte’s ear, and then was carried off the court — legs akimbo — by teammates.

Paul Pierce reacts after hearing a pop in Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals. (ABC)
Paul Pierce reacts after hearing a pop in Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals. (ABC)

Is there a stain? Did Pierce wear the same shorts in Game 2? So many questions.

Does this make Pierce’s performance any less heroic? Perhaps moreso. After missing just 1:45 in the third quarter, Pierce returned, I guess, from dropping a deuce to hit back-to-back threes that turned a two-point deficit into a four-point lead Boston never relinquished. Pierce went on to win Finals MVP, which would mean the biggest moment of his career was skidmarked by a bathroom escort.

Finally, The Truth. Or was it?

I don’t know what to believe anymore.

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Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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