Paul Pierce Clears Air on “Wheelchair Game” Against Lakers in NBA Finals

Paul Pierce Lakers "Wheelchair Game"

Getty Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics looks to pass under pressure from Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers.

It was a moment that lives in infamy among Los Angeles Lakers fans. Paul Pierce went down with what looked to be a knee injury during game one of the 2008 Finals against the Lakers and had to be taken off the court in a wheelchair after writhing in pain on the ground.

However, Pierce would come running back onto the court just minutes later and went on to lead the Celtics to beat the Lakers in six games. Given how quickly Pierce was able to recover from what his reactions indicated to be a fairly serious injury, Laker fans have long questioned the validity of his knee injury that fateful evening.

Paul Pierce Comes Clean on 2008 NBA Finals Wheelchair Incident against Lakers

Pierce ended up confirming on the pregame broadcast for game three of the NBA Finals that he actually didn’t injure his knee at all and simply needed to go to the bathroom. Pierces’ co-hosts pressed him a bit harder and Pierce revealed that he may have actually already GONE to the bathroom and needed the wheelchair to hide him as he went to the locker room to clean up.

Pierce would dominate the rest of the series and put up 21.8 points per game en route to a Finals MVP for his efforts. However, the Lakers would get the last laugh winning the championship in 2009 before defending their crown against the Celtics in 2010 and beating them in an epic seven-game series. Ray Allen would leave the Celtics two years later to chase rings with LeBron in Miami and Boston was never the same, eventually trading off Pierce and Kevin Garnett for arguably the biggest treasure trove of draft picks the NBA has ever seen.

For the Lakers, they tried to make a major splash for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash which ultimately backfired and set the entire franchise back for what has been going on seven years. Shortly after, Kobe would rupture his Achilles, effectively closing the book on any hope the Lakers had to build a contender around Bryant during his twilight years.