There have been a lot of theories attempting to explain why Paul Pierce left Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals in a wheelchair.
Maybe he was faking an injury.
Maybe he was really hurt.
Maybe he took an urgent bathroom break.
The latter has been a prevalent one over the years, with speculation he had to go No. 2.
However, Pierce denies it went that far when asked by current Boston Celtic Jaylen Brown in a Showtime Basketball discussion also featuring Kevin Garnett, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart.
“I want to know what happened in the playoffs when you had to get in the wheelchair,” Brown said, referring to when Pierce left crying and in a wheelchair with 6:49 to go in the third quarter, only to return just over one minute later jogging through the tunnel with seemingly no issues.
“I sprained my MCL,” Pierce insisted, smirking. “Don’t believe all them rumors that I had to go to the bathroom.”
Garnett intervened, “What rumors?” with at least a hint of sarcasm.
Pierce rhetorically replied, “You was there, what happened there?”
Garnett answered, “I don’t know, I’m asking, what rumors you talkin’ bout?”
This, by the way, countered what Pierce seemingly admitted during the 2019 NBA Finals on ESPN, where he “confessed” that “I had to go to the bathroom, something went down, I had to go to the bathroom.”
In the Showtime Basketball clip, Pierce also denies requesting the wheelchair.
“I sprained my MCL, and the doctor said, ‘No, no, no, don’t put no weight on it,’” Pierce recalled.
“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.”
Of course, the Celtics won the game, 98-88, to go up 1-0 in the series, and they ultimately triumphed 4-2 over the Kobe Bryant- and Pau Gasol-led Lakers.
Pierce had 22 points in that infamous game and was named Finals MVP following Game 6, averaging a team-high 21.8 points per contest during the series.