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Celtics great Paul Pierce reveals story of how his hard-fouling neighbors shaped his game

paul pierce, celtics

There’s no question that Boston Celtics icon Paul Pierce will go down in history as one of the best players from the 2000s. The 2008 NBA Champion and Finals MVP made a name for himself during his time in Boston as one of the toughest swingmen to ever play for the Cs.

In a recent appearance in “The Opinionated 7-Footers” podcast by former NBA players Ryan Hollins and Brendan Haywood, Pierce opened up on how his experiences as a young kid in Inglewood, California shaped him into becoming one of the fiercest competitors in the league.

“There’s this park in Inglewood. It’s in the cut, called Ash Park. I lived in these apartments, and I used to go there like every Saturday. And all they have up there was Mexicans, right?” Pierce narrated, as transcribed by Celtics Wire. “I was the only Black kid. I’m telling you, playing against all Mexicans … but they [were] my peeps. Always go up there and get fouled, get fouled and I’ve got to be tough. I said ‘I’m going to just go up here every Saturday.’ They really don’t know how to play basketball, they’re just out here getting the workout hooping, and I was like ‘Damn’.”

That explains a lot about “The Truth.”

As a 15-year member of the Celtics, he carried the whole city on his back and put Boston back on the map with his fierce demeanor and a ton of clutch buckets. Sure, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen came into town. Still, there’s no denying Pierce’s imprint on the Celtics’ culture.