As if Boston fans needed another reason to love Paul Pierce, he provided one of the biggest collective sighs of relief and cheers in Boston history during the “Wheelchair Game.”
Midway through the third quarter of Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, the future Hall of Famer collided with teammate Kendrick Perkins under the basket and fell to the ground in agony. While grabbing his leg and covering his face, fans grew silent. Shortly thereafter, teammate Tony Allen and two medical staffers lifted Pierce into a wheelchair. Oh, this can’t be good,everyone thought.
Cameras followed him into the tunnel and captured disturbing images of Pierce writhing in pain, while being whisked away for further testing. But then as despair filled the arena, a miracle happened: Pierce ran back out of the tunnel and to the Celtics’ bench one minute later.
That’s right, Superman was back — and he hit a pair of 3-pointers shortly after checking back into the game.
Was it a miracle? Was the injury fake? Some conspiracy theorists wonder what the truth was 10 years ago on that night. But regardless, any Boston fan will argue “The Truth” is one of the toughest, grittiest players they’ve ever seen — and that night proved it.