Paul Pierce reveals: Good game vs Kobe Bryant led to ‘The Truth’ nickname
Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce made a touching reveal on Thursday, saying that his famed “The Truth” monicker actually originated from a good game he played against Kobe Bryant many years back.
In a television interview which included Matt Barnes and journalists Rachel Nichols and Zach Lowe, Pierce opened up about how he got the nickname.
“If there was no Kobe, there would be no nickname ‘The Truth’,” said Pierce. “There are so many great stories. I beat a guy who is arguably the (best) in NBA history and I held my own. There would be no ‘The Truth’ without Kobe.”
“(He’s) a guy who motivated me, who brought out the best out of me, on and off the court and I tell people, there will be no Paul Pierce ‘The Truth’ without Kobe,” he added.
Pierce said he was having a great game from Bryant, it was the latter’s Laker teammate and fellow great Shaquille O’Neal who approached Pierce and called the Celtics forward “You’re the truth.”
“(That game) brought the best out of me.”
While Pierce admittedly didn’t have a deeper relationship with Bryant compared to other figures, the 2008 NBA Finals MVP’s career has always been intertwined with Bryant’s, as noted by Nichols.
With Pierce and Bryant playing for rival franchises Boston and the Los Angeles Lakers, they have figured in many memorable battles on the opposite ends of the floor.
Pierce defeated Bryant and the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals in 6 games, handing the former what would be his only title in the league. Bryant was the season MVP in that same year.
He considers that championship one of the greatest moments of his career, being able to go toe-to-toe against Bryant and coming out on top.
But Bryant went on to have revenge two seasons after, winning the 2010 title in 7 games.
Pierce and Nichols thought it was Bryant’s favorite of his 5 NBA titles.
“He wanted that revenge so bad,” said Pierce. “He got us.”
The 10-time all-star also discussed Bryant’s competitive drive, noting that even in scripted commercials where they would simulate a one-on-one scene, Bryant didn’t back down and even poked the ball away from Pierce.
“It turned into a one-on-one battle (where we were sweating) in a commercial shoot,” recalled Pierce.