Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  38 responses

How Paul Pierce Became ‘The Truth’

The Boston Herald takes us back in time, to the day Pierce torched Shaq’s Lakers for 42 points in a loss and earned himself a nickname: “Late one night some 9 years ago, it took the Big Chairman of the Board just a moment to launch a nickname that would become Paul Pierce’s brand … Shaq was finishing up with a few reporters when he spotted the Boston writer and broke away from his pack. He then launched into a complimentary rant about Pierce, squeezing in his favorite maternal expletive between ‘The’ and ‘Truth.’ Pulling a reporter aside, he shook his head and said, ‘Paul Pierce.’ Paul Pierce what? Leaning toward the notepad, he said, ‘Take this down. My name is Shaquille O’Neal, and Paul Pierce is the (very long expletive) truth. Quote me on that, and don’t take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn’t know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the truth.’ Pierce was 23 and trying to establish himself on a bad team in his third NBA year. He was also just six months removed from his near-fatal stabbing. He was appreciative of Shaq’s testimonial that day, and things hadn’t changed when he spoke about it yesterday. ‘You really don’t know what’s going to stick,’ Pierce said. ‘But at that time, being a young player, getting those type of comments from one of the greatest players, it does a lot for your confidence truthfully. That kind of thing really does a lot for a young player. Not a lot of guys get a nickname. You feel like you’ve got to live up to it.’”

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  • Ben

    Everybody gets a nickname

  • Ben

    NETS all day

  • EJ

    I think a better nickname would be just Paul “the motherf-ing” Pierce. Sounds cool lmao.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    …from a man named Shaq, Shaq Fu, Shaqzilla, The Big Aristotle, The Big Shamrock, Shaqtus…and more. Nicknames don’t mean all that much to Shaquille O’Neal, soon we’re gonna learn he calls Nate Robinson “The Green Midget”.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Paul Pierce – The Very Long Expletive Truth.

  • http://slamonline.com Yknot

    Nicknames are plenty for Shaq but just one stuck for Pierce. Good thing Shaq told the Truth!

  • JoeMaMa

    I’m going to pat myself on the back for this one…I was telling this tale on there several times, including in his write up for top 50. JoeMaMa, you the man.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    @ EJ…no that’s his teammate’s, Delonte West, nickname.

  • Robb

    @Kap hahahaha

  • The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    The Truth, one of the coolest nicknames in NBA history, along with His Airness, The Human Highlight Film, Sir Charles, Half Man-Half Amazing, The Rainman, The Admiral, THE KING!
    One of the weirdest: The Worm (especially when u know the bearer of the nickname)

  • flash

    shaq should give nicknames for everybody

  • Purple Reign

    After his Oscar worthy wheel chair stunt in Game 1 of the 2008 Finals he became “Paul The FAKER Pierce”

  • Purple Reign

    Vince Carter went from being called Half Man-Half Amazing when he was winning dunk contests and when he was in Toronto. Nowadays people including NBA players in the league today refer to him as “Half Man-Half A Season”. Lol haha. No lie there was a ESPN article about it.

  • JER Dawg

    People hated Kobe cuz he was too effing great early on. Shaq had him on his team so he couldn’t gush over him because he was too busy fighting in-house. Other guys weren’t cool to give out Nick names. Any other situation Kobe wouldve had a nickname. Being as it is we all name him Black Mamba. And he gave that to himself. “Lord of the Rings” was his Rucker park name. Let’s respect him for that.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’ve never understood why Lakers fans are so upset about the knee thing in the Finals with Pierce.
    Even if he was faking, so what? Who cares? It had no impact on the game whatsoever. It didn’t hurt the Lakers at all.
    It’s just really strange.


    who said anything about kobe? jesus christ and @ purple reign, hop off the man’s nuts.

  • Big Clover

    Don’t we all already know this?

  • Yesse

    Old story. Shaq gives nicknames to everybody.

  • Lucas

    @ fresh prince… what about “the plastic man”, stacey augmon?

  • LD

    Keith Van Horn was called “The Truth” by Ahmad Rashad on NBA Inside Stuff Before Paul Pierce was in the League.

  • ripslam

    I love how Laker fanboys will somehow find a way to bring Kobe into a discussion no matter what the topic is. For some reason they’re mad because the Celts team doctors took PP for a wheelchair ride for 30 seconds and then decided he was good to go. It didn’t hurt the Lakers, I have no idea why they’re mad about it.

  • Michael

    Ive read this before on slam.

  • flipnoyce

    Pierce is the F’n Truth, all day. Laker fans don’t like him cause he plays for the Celtics. Pierce was a Lakers fan himself being born and raised in Cali n all,he actually hated the Celtics, but as soon as he became a Celtics he bleeds green all day ever since. Even Kobe can’t stop the TRUTH thats why he was glad to have Artest on board. We’ll c what happens in round 3. Celtics all day,chyeaaaa!!!

  • flipnoyce

    @ripslam, the Lakers are mad at Pierce cause he knew how to act better than Kobe. He played his part Hollywood style, take that and rewind it back!!!!

  • vtrobot

    we’re over game 7 from last year. congrats on the championship, lakeshow. can you please get over the fact that the celtics training staff took PP off the court in a wheelchair until they were certain that his knee was OK? i don’t think PP requested the chair as he was lying on the ground. if he hadn’t come back and beat yr team’s azzz shortly afterward, you kobe fanboys wouldn’t be posting about it every day on this site. enjoy the game and don’t waste so much time and energy hating on players and other team’s fans on this site. seems like yr in jr. high.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    The funniest thing about laker fans is they were really hard to find from 04-07. Wonder why that is, hmmmmmm.


    The Truth is a better nickname than PP.

  • Ronald

    @Allenp: As an objective observer (honestly, I was hoping that both teams would lose in the finals) that whole wheelchair was irritating because it was compounded by Celtics running around the next few seasons acting like they were the toughest team in the universe (includes KG, Rondo and Perkins) and then seeing Paul Pierce flail at the slightest touch of contact whilst and writhing in pain on the ground whilst bouncing straight back up to get into someone’s face. It doesn’t help that Tom Heinshom (sp?) is such a homer that he called another team dirty.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    All this time Im thinking he earned it on the streets of South Central lol

  • Morgan

    After all the acting he’s done over the past couple of years he will never (in a lot of peoples eyes) be known as “the Truth” again…sadly those days where he could drop 42 in a classy way are long gone – but at least hes got his chip. To be honest, sacrificing a nickname for a chip doesn’t sound all that bad.

  • vtrobot

    I’m glad that some of you realize that PP’s toughness doesn’t have anything to do with how much he flails (he’s not actually getting hurt in those instances, you know?). He’ll stop acting when he stops getting those calls. Can you understand that he’s a very smart player? You win and you get a lot of love and even more hate.

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  • Thor

    @Fresh prince, Shawn Kemp was called The Reignman not rainman

  • ktokyo

    I thought guys would eventually grow out of getting a new tattoo. I guess I was wrong.

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com don

    Shaquille O’Neal is one in a million. Who’d ever believed that one day Shaq would become a member of the Boston Celtics, and play alongside Pierce.

    Life is funny like that.

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  • John

    Only Our Lord Jesus Christ is The Truth. This should not be Paul Pierce’s nickname.

  • MailOrderLesbian

    Eat a dick.