Paul Pierce is the small forward who was best known for his work with the Boston Celtics alongside fellow “Big 3” players, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
This trio is credited for ushering in a new era for the Celtics during the early 2000s.
Although Pierce has not been seen on the professional court for years, he remains one of the most outspoken and bold figureheads in the professional basketball community.
Pierce has earned himself the nickname “The Truth” after decades of telling people exactly what’s on his mind.
How Many Rings Does Paul Pierce Have?
Paul Pierce has one championship ring that he won in 2008 with the Boston Celtics.
Paul Pierce retired in 2017, first announcing his retirement before the 2016–2017 season.
By the end of Pierce’s career, he had averaged 20.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game across 18 years in the National Basketball Association.
Pierce spent 15 years with the Boston Celtics before he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets for a single year, with the forward moving to the Washington Wizards, and then the Los Angeles Clippers.
To help his fans understand his decision, Pierce wrote, “It’s time to move on from the game of basketball.
Just like any difficult decision, I think you’ve got to be at peace with yourself. I’m at peace with retiring.”
Just as Paul Pierce thought that he would never know another day as a Boston Celtic, his original team scooped their future Hall of Famer up and allowed Pierce to retire as a Celtic.
The signs that his enduring Boston fans held whenever returned home were finally coming true, allowing Pierce to truly be a Celtic for life.
The Celtic’s manager partner, Wyc Grousbeck, spoke on the franchise’s behalf to thank Pierce for choosing to retire as a Celtic and that they were “honored” to be able to raise his number in the rafters of their home stadium once again.
Paul Pierce is the second-highest-scoring player in the history of the Boston Celtics with a total of 24,021 points, closing behind John Havlicek.
Despite all of the years that Pierce spent away from Boston, he never tried to hide his continued love and support for the team.
Celtics fans were eager to see their former Big 3 star come back home and finally be able to represent the city that he loved.
For Pierce, playing for the Celtics meant playing for the people of Boston.
Did Paul Pierce Want To Leave The Boston Celtics?
No, Paul Pierce didn’t want to leave the Boston Celtics, but he had very little say in the decision despite the legacy he had created with the team.
Pierce thought that he’d earned the right to retire with the team that he loved the most, which is part of why he was so devastated to leave and have to play against his former team.
When Pierce was traded to the Brooklyn Nets and had to play against the Celtics for the first time, he felt that was the most difficult game he ever had to play in his entire career.
According to Pierce, his first game against the Celtics was “tougher than any championship, tougher than any Game 7.”
One of the hard parts of the game for Pierce was looking out into the crowd and seeing Boston fans wearing the jersey he still wanted to wear, which were accompanied by signs that said “Celtic for Life.”
The night before the game, it was difficult for Paul Pierce to get any sleep because he was used to sleeping in his own bed when he was in Boston instead of having to stay in a hotel.
In interviews following his departure from Boston, Pierce would nearly become teary-eyed as he talked about how much he missed his old home in Boston, the community around Boston, and the nearby friendships he’d made while living there.
Even as coach Doc Rivers tried to give Pierce a pep talk, all of the screens around the court were playing clips from the Celtics’ 2008 championship.
Pierce eventually came to terms with the sadness he felt whenever he played in Boston, claiming that it would have happened no matter which team he played for.
Although Pierce came to appreciate New York City, it never could compare to Boston.
Why Was Paul Pierce Fired By ESPN?
Paul Pierce was fired by ESPN after making unprofessional tweets about Rachel Nichols from The Jump and smoking with strippers on an Instagram live stream.
During an interview with fellow ex-ESPN personality Michelle Beadle on her podcast What Did I Miss?, Pierce explained that he was at a house party and wanted to post about it.
At the time, his relationship with ESPN and his fellow hosts was becoming more strained by the day.
Pierce didn’t like how much of the conversation was surrounding just LeBron James when there was an entire league of players to talk about, especially given their personal histories.
Between the lack of variety in topics and the way ESPN handled themselves, Pierce found himself becoming bored and wondering why he was continuing to work if he was already retired.
Although Pierce wasn’t worried about what would happen if ESPN saw the video, Pierce admits that he didn’t fully understand how Instagram Live worked.
The retired Celtics star didn’t know that the live stream would be recorded and only expected a few people to see it.
Instead, Pierce’s house party video went viral and Pierce woke up the next day with hundreds of messages.
When Paul Pierce was asked for an apology following the house party video, Pierce responded by claiming that many people at ESPN were doing much worse and adding, “You’re just hiding it, and you all are married while doing it. I’m divorced. I’m retired. I’m having fun.”
True to his nature, “The Truth” doesn’t seem to be ashamed of what he does with his free time when the cameras are away.
Paul Pierce lives his life freely and unabashedly, never allowing something to slide just because social etiquette would dictate that you say nothing.
Why Does Paul Pierce Not Get Along With LeBron James?
Paul Pierce doesn’t get along with LeBron James even after years of being retired from the National Basketball Association because of a preseason incident that occurred between Pierce and James’s teams.
After years of contention between Pierce and James, their former teammate Kendrick Perkins stepped forward to explain what started their feud from his perspective.
From the moment that LeBron James entered the National Basketball Association, Pierce has never liked James or the attention he garnished.
During his rookie season, the Boston Celtics were playing a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers when Perkins first heard the backlash that James was receiving from the older players.
The older players would mockingly call James “The Chosen One” and tell him, “Wait until you play against grown men.”
In Perkins’s second year, the teams were paired against each other in the preseason when James threw down an uncontested dunk and immediately tried to play tough near the Celtics’ bench.
This angered Pierce to the point of smack-talking the Cavaliers and even spitting in the direction of their bench while passing by.
Pierce added so much fuel to the fire that the players were ready to physically fight each other, with the more sensible players having to hold back their eager teammates.
Even as James served his time in the National Basketball Association and proved that he could play with the best, Pierce could never understand the excitement about James’s career.
In 2020, Paul Pierce was asked to name the top five best basketball players of all time and listed Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, and Kobe Bryant.
When asked why James wasn’t on that list, Pierce explained that the players he chose all “helped build up their organizations or continued the tradition.”
Why Did Paul Pierce Leave A Game In A Wheelchair?
Paul Pierce had to use a wheelchair during a game in 2008 because he was at risk of soiling his uniform.
Pierce felt forced to bring up this situation after there were rumors that he had actually soiled his pants, but the basketball legend claims that he wouldn’t have been sitting down in soiled pants.
During Game 1 of the 2008 Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, Pierce was suddenly escorted out of the game in a wheelchair for an undisclosed injury.
Although it seemed like Pierce was out of the game from the viewers’ perspective, he returned to the court only a few minutes later as if nothing had happened.
For 11 years, Paul Pierce refused to admit what the undisclosed injury was and only came forward with the truth when the rumor began to get too out of hand for Pierce.
While analyzing a game, “The Truth” said, “I have a confession to make: I just had to go to the bathroom.”
This moment remains one of the most infamous of Pierce’s entire career.