The Boston Celtics are currently looking to go on another run to the NBA Finals after making it there last season before falling at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. Even though they have lost their two most recent games on their west coast road trip, the C’s still have the best record in the NBA at 21-7 and appear to be laser-focused on their quest to raise banner number 18 into the rafters of TD Garden.
Pierce recounts an epic story from his first playoff series
Of course, the Celtics haven’t won a championship since 2008, when they were led by the collective “Big Three” of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. Everything came together in the perfect way for Boston that year, but it took a while for Pierce, the longest-tenured member of that group, to find his way to the playoffs with Boston.
Pierce eventually ended up in the postseason in 2002 and bumped into Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers in his first-ever playoff series. It was a great series for Pierce and the C’s, as they quickly sent Iverson and the Sixers packing in five games. Pierce opened up on playing against Iverson in that series and recounted an epic story from Game 5 about his encounters with Iverson.
“I remember when they put, we was in the timeout, and we up on them in Game 5. They put, on the projector, the quote from “A Few Good Men,” and it was just like, it was in the timeout, this is in Boston, the closeout game, and I’m having a great game. And they put up on the thing, with Jack Nicholson, the truth. ‘I want the truth. You can’t handle the truth.’ And the crowd went crazy because you know AI is the ‘The Answer’; I’m ‘The Truth’. They was like ‘You want answers? I want the truth.’ That might have been the coldest s***.” - Paul Pierce, Ticket & The Truth
Pierce certainly delivered in his first career playoff series
It seemed like the odds would be stacked against the Celtics in this series, considering Iverson and the 76ers made it to the NBA Finals the season before. But Pierce guided Boston past Philadelphia with ease, and his performance in Game 5 of the series (46 PTS, 6 AST, 4 REB, 16/25 FG) was one of the best of his career.
It’s no wonder Pierce was able to absolutely torch the 76ers in this game after hearing this story. This certainly excited the crowd, and Pierce’s reaction throughout the story shows that he was pumped up when he saw this as well. Pierce wouldn’t end up winning a title this season, but his success in the postseason early in his career helped set the foundation for his eventual title win in 2008.