In a recent Showtime basketball interview, current Celtics Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown sat down with former greats Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Garnett gave the players a chance to ask a few questions.
Jaylen Brown went first, raising his hand with a smile and pointing to Pierce.
“I want to know what happened in the playoffs when you had to get in the wheelchair,” Brown said.
You may remember the moment during the 2008 NBA Finals. Brown was 11 at the time, but Pierce was in the midst of leading the Celtics to Banner No. 17.
During the third quarter of Game 1, Pierce fell down in pain following a Kobe Bryant jumper and was taken to the locker room in a wheelchair.
On this date 10 years ago, Paul Pierce's "Wheelchair Game" made its mark on the Celtics-Lakers rivalry. pic.twitter.com/h8jFq7IBeC— ESPN (@espn) June 5, 2018
In the 15 years since the moment, a rumor has persisted: Pierce was carted off because he had to use the bathroom. The pained expression on his face, combined with the fact that he came hopping back out of the tunnel minutes later, led some to speculation.
Pierce laughed at Brown’s question and said that he sprained his MCL.
“Don’t believe all them rumors that I had to go to the bathroom,” Pierce said.
Pierce explained to Brown that some people thought he had to use the restroom, and joked that he was going to “put hands” on somebody for laughing.
“On who? Garnett asked. “We can go right in the bathroom and get some town business right quick.”
The truth comes out about the wheelchair game 👀— SHOWTIME Basketball (@shobasketball) March 16, 2023
Part 2 of KG & Paul Pierce’s visit to the @Celtics is now available on our YouTube ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/cQ5UWEN0e5
Pierce said the Celtics training staff decided to bring out the wheelchair and that it wasn’t his call to make.
“I sprained my MCL, and 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.”
After testing the knee, Pierce returned to the game and finished with 22 points on 7-10 shooting, helping the Celtics grab a 98-88 victory and the series lead.
“I stood up, and I was like ‘man, let me see how this feels,” Pierce said, hopping up and down. “All right, all right. 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.”
Watch the interview here: