When you’re less than one week away from being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, it comes with the territory. In doing so, with Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, Pierce revealed a personal issue that’s taken its toll on him over the years.
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It’s the kind of struggle only the son of an absentee father can truly grasp. Paul, 43, doesn’t know his dad.
He hasn’t seen George Pierce since Paul was a child, according to Mannix. And now, “The Truth” plans to do something about it.
Paul Pierce Plans to Reconnect With Absentee Father
“We keep an open dialogue,” says Pierce, of his half-brother, per SI’s Mannix.
For Pierce, not hearing from his dad is becoming a burden. According to Mannix, his children are starting to ask questions.
And when Paul talked about the night of Sept. 25, 2000, when he nearly died after being stabbed five times at a nightclub in Boston, Pierce shared that he wished his father reached out.
“But of all the calls, faxes and emails he received, none of them came from his father,” SI’s Mannix wrote.
“I know,” says Pierce. “I looked through every one.”
“After not hearing from him after the title, Pierce says, he let it go,” Mannix added. “But he still wonders why.”
However, the frustrating burden — one Pierce still carries with him to this day — is not to be misconstrued for hate or disgust toward his dad. Paul just wants answers.
Paul Pierce On Life Without Dad: ‘I Don’t Have Any Hate for Him’
“I understand you didn’t have to be with my mom,” he says, per Mannix. “All right, whatever. But you know, I’m still your son. Why you didn’t you at least reach out? Ask how I’m doing. I never asked him for money. What happened? I think that’s every kid whose father isn’t around. What went wrong? I’m not going to judge you for it. He’s older now. I mean, I don’t have any hate for him.”
During his time at ESPN, Pierce even had a private conversation with a former colleague/former NBA player Jalen Rose about it.
“At ESPN, he talked to Jalen Rose about Rose’s father, Jimmy Walker,” Mannix wrote. “Walker was the No. 1 pick in the 1967 NBA draft. He died in 2007. Rose never met him. He told Pierce he often wishes he did.”
Paul is afraid of living with that regret.
“When this pandemic lifts,” says Pierce, per Mannix. “I’m going to do it.”
“The Truth” Making “Big Ticket” Plans With KG
As for what’s next after his fallout with ESPN, Paul’s hoping to reconnect with one of his Celtics brothers.
“Pierce has ideas. He’s collaborating with Garnett on a few,” SI’s Mannix wrote. “The two are planning on launching a podcast. Pierce wants to do a show that follows the two of them traveling the world.”
As two new members of the club, Basketball Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett, whose Class of 2020 was inducted, earlier this year, will present Pierce at Saturday’s enshrinement ceremony in Springfield, and Pierce, who wants to take the show on the road, have big plans for the future.
“Just doing all the s— we couldn’t do when we played,” Pierce added, per SI. “For example? Skydiving. Maybe a bull run in Spain. Get motorcycles and travel around. Experience different cultures, different foods. That would be so much fun.”