Coming soon to NBC Sports Boston, "Anything is Possible - The Story of the 2008 Celtics". This documentary looks back at a memorable season in Celtics history that brought together three future Hall of Famers.
1:25 - With half of the Celtics roster on the shelf, we’ve been able to see just how great a scorer Jayson Tatum can be. A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Girardi and Trenni Kusnierek discuss how Tatum compares to Celtics legend, Paul Pierce.
5:35 - The NFL Competition Committee is giving it their best shot at modifying the ‘catch rule’ and Tom Curran, Kyle Draper and Hardy try to wrap their heads around the proposed changes.
11:02 - The Bruins clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Joe Haggerty joins Tom Giles to break down the game, which included another goal by Ryan Donato and a questionable call on a high hit on David Krejci.
BOSTON -- And on this day, the nickname of all nicknames around these parts was born.
Paul Pierce was a young, up-and-coming star in the NBA, a small forward with a big-time knack for getting buckets in a variety of ways.
Seventeen years ago on this date, the Inglewood, Calif., native was back home with the Celtics preparing to do battle against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center for the second time as a pro.
In his third season, it was Pierce’s third time playing in front of family and friends (twice against the Clippers, once against the Lakers) at the Staples Center. So, not surprisingly, there was a larger-than-usual Celtics presence in the stands.
In the three previous games, he put on a good show, averaging 22 points per game. But on this night, he didn’t just play well. He dominated the game in a way no one could have imagined.
Devean George. Rick Fox. Robert Horry. And yes, the Big fella Shaquille O’Neal, got served up by Pierce with an array of step-back jumpers, drives to the basket, dunks and 3-pointers with Pierce leaving the building having dropped 42 points.
As good as Pierce was, it wasn’t enough to get the victory as the Lakers squeaked out a 112-107 win.
The Celtics lost the game, but the foundation for one of the greatest players of the history of the franchise was just beginning to take shape.
And it came moments later in the postgame scrum from O’Neal, a loquacious man who delivered one of the best quotes of this generation that would become so much more than just a hot take:
“Take this down. My name is Shaquille O’Neal and Paul Pierce is the motherf***ing truth. Quote me on that and don’t take nothing out.”
And on this day, the Truth was born.