Paul Pierce confessed to a long-standing NBA conspiracy theory about his infamous 'wheelchair injury' in the NBA Finals

  • Paul Pierce revealed the truth on Wednesday about a long-standing conspiracy theory about his famous "wheelchair game."
  • In the 2008 Finals, Pierce appeared to go down with an injury. He was taken out of the game in a wheelchair, but ran back onto the court moments later and played well to lead the Boston Celtics to a win.
  • NBA fans had theorized that Pierce had an emergency, needed a bathroom break, and was not actually injured.
  • On Wednesday, before Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Pierce said "something went down" and he had to go to the bathroom.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Paul Pierce on Wednesday confessed to a long-standing conspiracy theory about a notorious moment in NBA Finals history: the wheelchair game.

In Game 1 of the 2008 Finals, Pierce, then with the Boston Celtics, drove to the basket against the Los Angeles Lakers. He took a hit and fell to the ground and stayed down.

Pierce appeared injured, was carried off the court, then taken to the locker room in a wheelchair.

However, later in the game, Pierce ran back out onto the court on his own. He returned to the game and helped lead the Celtics to a 98-88 win.

Given Pierce's quick recovery from what seemed like an ugly injury, the internet theorized that Pierce did not hurt himself. Instead, some wondered if he, umm, soiled himself.

The topic had been covered in Reddit threads, YouTube videos, and by The Ringer's Jason Concepcion. Of course, there was no proof the theory was accurate until now.

"I have a confession to make," Pierce said on ESPN on Wednesday before Game 2 of the 2019 NBA Finals. "I just had to go to the bathroom."

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Paul Pierce throughout his career
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Paul Pierce throughout his career
Kansas forward Paul Pierce dribbling the ball during the Great Eight finals against Cincinnati on December 4, 1996 at the United Center in Chicago. Kansas won the game 72-65. (Photo by Craig Hacker/Sporting News via Getty Images)
University of Kansas forward Paul Pierce takes the breakaway pass and slams it home for two points, during first half action against Oklahoma February 23 in Lawrence. Kansas is looking for their 60th consecutive victory at home. SPORT BKC
National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern welcomes Paul Pierce to the league after Pierce was picked 10th in the first round by the Boston Celtics. 7'1" forward Michael Olowokandi, from Pacific University, was picked first over-all by the L.A. Clippers. MB/CM
BOSTON - AUGUST 1: Paul Pierce signs his contract with the Boston Celtics. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - FEBRUARY 6: Boston Celtics Paul Pierce dives for a lose ball during a close Celtics victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday in Boston. (Photo by John Bohn/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, : Boston Celtics player Paul Pierce (R) passes the ball as Indiana Pacers Rik Smits (L) and Dale Davis defend during the first half of action at the Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts, 28 March. Indiana won 101-93. AFP PHOTO/ John MOTTERN (Photo credit should read JOHN MOTTERN/AFP/Getty Images)
WALTHAM, MA - OCTOBER 10: Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce, left, and Celtics legend Bill Russell are pictured during practice in Waltham, MA on Oct. 10, 2000. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
1 Nov 2000: Kenny Anderson #7, Antoine Walker #8, and Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics celebrate after the game against the Detroit Pistons at the Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Pistons 103-83. NOTE TO USER: It is expressly understood that the only rights Allsport are offering to license in this Photograph are one-time, non-exclusive editorial rights. No advertising or commercial uses of any kind may be made of Allsport photos. User acknowledges that it is aware that Allsport is an editorial sports agency and that NO RELEASES OF ANY TYPE ARE OBTAINED from the subjects contained in the photographs.Mandatory Credit: Ezra O. Shaw /Allsport
The Boston Celtics Antoine Walker (L) and Paul Pierce watch as the Celtics lose to the New Jersey Nets 87-74 in fourth quarter NBA action in Boston, Massachusetts March 18, 2003. REUTERS/Brian Snyder BS
Boston Celtics Paul Pierce (L) looks to pass against Indiana Pacers Stephen Jackson in third quarter NBA basketball action in Boston, Massachusetts December 14, 2005. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi
Boston Celtics Paul Pierce (L) fends off the advance of Atlanta Hawks Tyrone Lue during the first half of their NBA game in Atlanta November 23, 2005. REUTERS/John Amis
Boston Celtics' new signing Kevin Garnett (5), previously from the Minnesota Timberwolves, poses with his new teammates captain Paul Pierce (34) and Ray Allen (20) at a news conference to announce Garnett's signing in Boston, Massachusetts July 31, 2007. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics (L-R) Ray Allen, Gabe Pruitt, Kevin Garnett, Scot Pollard and Paul Pierce look on in fourth quarter action against the Washington Wizards during their NBA Basketball game in Boston, Massachusetts November 2, 2007. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics forwards Kevin Garnett (L) and Paul Pierce smile during a time out in the third quarter of their NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Boston, Massachusetts November 7, 2007. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (L) celebrates with head coach Doc Rivers after defeating the Detroit Pistons during Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference final in Auburn Hills, Michigan May 30, 2008. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics Paul Pierce is carried off the court after he was injured during Game 1 of the NBA Finals basketball championship against Los Angeles Lakers in Boston June 5, 2008. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce is guarded by Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (R) during the second half in Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball championship in Boston June 8, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers (C) celebrates with players Paul Pierce (L) and Kevin Garnett in the closing moments of play against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals basketball championship in Boston, June 17, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics Paul Pierce (C) holds the Most Valuable Player trophy as he celebrates his team's win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals basketball championship in Boston, June 17, 2008. The Celtics captured the championship. At left is Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers (R) is dunked with Gatorade by player Paul Pierce (L) as they celebrated their win over the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals basketball championship in Boston, June 17, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett (L), Ray Allen (C) and Paul Pierce celebrate with the Larry O'Brien trophy in the locker room after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 to win the NBA Finals basketball championship in Boston, June 17, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics' Glen Davis (L), Kevin Garnett (2nd L), Paul Pierce (2nd R) and Ray Allen celebrate their win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 to win the NBA Finals basketball championship in Boston June 17, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce (L) and Ray Allen look as Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant shoots a foul shot during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Boston, Massachusetts February 5, 2009. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES)
Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce reacts at the end of the Celtics victory in double overtime in their NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats in Boston, Massachusetts, April 1, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES SPORT BASKETBALL)
Boston Celtics Paul Pierce (34) drives to the next past Orlando Magic Dwight Howard as Magic Hedo Turkoglu (L) and Rafer Alston (R) follow the play during the first quarter of Game 7 of their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series in Boston, Massachusetts May 17, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES SPORT BASKETBALL)
Boston Celtics Paul Pierce (R) congratulates Orlando Magic Dwight Howard after the Magic won Game 7 of their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal basketball playoff series in Boston, Massachusetts May 17, 2009. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES SPORT BASKETBALL)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James (L) and Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce talk during the second quarter of their NBA basketball game in Boston, Massachusetts October 26, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (34) throws up a shot as he drives between New York Knicks forwards Jared Jeffries (9) and Carmelo Anthony (7) in the second quarter of Game 4 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff basketball series at Madison Square Garden in New York, April 24, 2011. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce reacts after being fouled by the Miami Heat during the third quarter of Game 3 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series in Boston, Massachusetts May 7, 2011. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (R) fouls Miami Heat guard Ray Allen in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida October 30, 2012. Allen came to the Heat after playing for Celtics. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Newly acquired Brooklyn Net players (L - R) Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry hold up their new jerseys after a news conference to introduced them to the media in Brooklyn, New York July 18, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Newly acquired Brooklyn Net's NBA player Paul Pierce (2nd R) speaks as fellow newly acquired players Jason Terry (R), Kevin Garnett and head coach Jason Kidd (L) listen during a news conference in Brooklyn, New York July 18, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Nov 5, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Paul Pierce (34) looks to drive past Utah Jazz small forward Richard Jefferson (24) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Nets won 104-88. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Paul Pierce (34) and teammates take the court after a timeout in the final moments during the second half at Barclays Center. The Wizards won the game 113-107. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
May 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce (34) celebrates their victory with forward Andray Blatche (0) and guard Marcus Thornton (10) and guard Shaun Livingston (14) against the Toronto Raptors in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. The Nets beat the Raptors 104-103. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce (center) drives to the basket as Miami Heat guard Ray Allen (left) and Miami Heat forward Rashard Lewis (right) defend during the second half in game five of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Miami won 96-94. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 4, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce (34) celebrates with guard John Wall (2) against the New York Knicks during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. The Wizards defeated the Knicks 98-83. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) tries to get past Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce (34) during the third quarter at EnergySolutions Arena. Washington Wizards won the game 88-84. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
May 9, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce (34) celebrates with injured Wizards guard John Wall (L) and Washington Wizards forward Martell Webster (M) after making the game-winning basket against the Atlanta Hawks as time expired in the fourth quarter in game three of the second round of the NBA Playoffs. at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 103-101. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 29, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea (5) fouls Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce (34) in the second half of the game at Staples Center. Clippers won 104-88. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 19, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce (34) separates Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) after a foul call in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce (34) tries to dribble past San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) during the 3rd quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; NBA retired player Paul Pierce poses for photos on the red carpet before the 2017 NBA Awards at Basketball City at Pier 36. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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When ESPN's Chauncey Billups asked why Pierce needed a wheelchair to go to the bathroom, Pierce hinted there was an ... emergency.

"Something went down. I just had to go to the bathroom," Pierce said.

Case closed.

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