Celtics

Celtics

Ahead of Paul Pierce's third NBA season, the Boston Celtics star dealt with a traumatic incident that weighed heavily on him mentally.

On September 25, 2000, Pierce was stabbed 11 times and had a bottle smashed over his head while at the Buzz Club in Boston. He suffered a collapsed lung and had to be rushed to the hospital where he ultimately recovered from the injuries.

While Pierce was able to rapidly get himself into shape physically and somehow managed to play all 82 games for the Celtics during the 2000-01 NBA season, he dealt with severe paranoia in the aftermath of the attack. Pierce detailed his struggles on the "All The Smoke Podcast" with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.

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"People don't know this, but I actually carried a gun for two years right after that," Pierce said. "I was so paranoid. Like, I kept it in the car, I had it on me, I was so paranoid after that. I was just like, I couldn't be in crowds. Something like that happens to you, man, it's traumatic."

Pierce would go on to say that that type of event "changes you" and that he had to have constant surveillance to feel safe.

"It was so bad that I couldn't even, like, sleep," Pierce told Barnes and Jackson. "I had to have 24-hour police surveillance in my house, that's how paranoid I was."

The remarkable thing is that while Pierce was battling this paranoia and depression, he was still able to string together a terrific season for the Boston Celtics. He played every game and averaged 25.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. It truly was an unbelievable season considering all that he was dealing with off the court.