I get so, so, SO annoyed when people say Paul Pierce going down in Game 1 of the 2008 Finals was a fake injury. Was the wheelchair a little dramatic, for sure. During the course of my lifetime I have had several injuries where it initially hurts, and seems much worse than it is. Why is it so inconceivable that maybe at that moment, his knee was hurting, and he “walked if off”, so to say? There are also other reasons surrounding it why I believe it was not a fake job.
Take into account the score of the game. The Celtics were down by 4 points to the Lakers with possession.Why at this point in the game would Pierce decide to fake an injury? The Celtics were not down enough to need some sort of pumping up by him leaving then returning. Also, in a 4 point game, I doubt Pierce would want to leave the court or miss any minutes in his first appearance in the Finals if he could help it. It’s senseless! Furthermore, if it were a fake, it would have to have been pre-meditated. So at what point did Pierce decide, “at some point in this game I am going to fake an injury.” The whole notion is overly ridiculous. Just because Pierce has a reputation as a flopper is not a green light to question that man’s integrity and toughness as a player, which he has proven time and time again.
Also, ever heard of adrenaline, or heart? Not only would Pierce not willingly remove himself from a 4 point game, but I do believe the injury was not as nearly as serious as it looked. I also have to think he went back to the locker room, and said “I am the best player on this team, it’s the Finals, I’m going to play.” That is a much more feasible thought than a pre-mediated injury fake which took him out of a close game. Idiots!
Then people say “well he wasn’t limping or didn’t look like he was in any pain.” First off, the big shots he made when he returned were two perfectly set up three point shots, and a fade-away jumper that iced it. None of these shots required Pierce to move much, so saying he wasn’t in pain or limping cannot be validated by them. Not to mention Pierce barely jumps during his awkward form on his three pointers, so even with a slight knee injury he can get those shots off.
Lastly, Pierce has always been a charismatic player who takes no nonsense from anyone on the court. Label him cocky, dirty, dramatic, whatever you want. I call it toughness. Say what you will about Paul Pierce, anyone who dares to question his ability or heart because they don’t like him are completely irresponsible, and saying he faked an injury is an extreme example of this. I’ve seen way too many people label it a fake without looking at these unignorable facts. Like I have previously stated, there was no reason for him to fake an injury in such a close game, and he is their best player, therefore he wouldn’t leave the court unless he absolutely had to. Some say he did it because the game was slipping. Being down by four points is not slipping, and if the game were getting away, why would he leave his teammates when he is the best player on the team? Get a grip people, faking an injury is an asinine assumption, not only for Pierce, but for anyone in the NBA.