Shaquille O’Neal is responsible for lots of nicknames around the NBA, not just his own winners like “the Big Aristotle.” It’s O’Neal who first said Paul Pierce was The Truth, after Pierce lit up O’Neal’s Lakers for 42 points. Pierce continued to live up to his moniker on and off the court, gaining a reputation for both straight talk and delivering the goods. Last year, Pierce was instrumental in convincing DeAndre Jordan to remain with the Clippers, helping the core of the team stage a DeAndre intervention.
In his capacity for truth-telling, it was Pierce who delivered the most concise, cutting verdict on Kevin Durant’s controversial leap to the Golden State Warriors. Pierce implied, without quite saying, that Durant’s move was second-rate — a quitter’s option. “If u can’t beat um join um,” wrote Pierce.
If u can’t beat um join um ?
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 4, 2016