All-Star Analysts

Highlighting the Truth’s career milestones

Published September 10, 2023, 10:00 AMIsaac Go

Following Paul Pierce’s controversial comments comparing his career with Dwyane Wade, All-Star Analyst Isaac Go gives us a rundown of the Truth’s Hall of Fame achievements.

I recently came across a video of Paul Pierce saying that he had a better career than Dwyane Wade. It shocked me. 

First, most players do not come out and compare careers, especially if both players are extremely accomplished such as Pierce and Wade. Second, Pierce already has a history of saying weird, out-of-the-blue type of comments and this is probably up there with the whole wheelchair incident. 

What Pierce said got me thinking of another interview that struck me. Spencer Dinwiddie made an incredible point when he said that if you aren’t in the conversation of being the “GOAT” or you didn’t change the culture, you’ll be forgotten in two to three years after you retire. He named Penny Hardaway as an example, and those who watched Penny knew he was a problem. The same could be said for Brandon Roy, Joe Dumars, and Tracy McGrady. 

By making weird and wacky comments that would get people talking about him, was this Pierce’s way of cementing himself in people’s minds? It’s a shame if he has this mindset because Pierce does have the body of work and the accolades that cement him in basketball history books.

Pierce played in the NBA from 1998 to 2017 and accomplished a lot in his career. However, with his latest media appearances, his very spicy takes, and the virality of social media, people seem to remember the other side of Pierce rather than what he actually did. Doesn’t the saying go, talk is cheap? Here’s a snapshot of what he did over the course of his Hall of Fame career.

If there was one skill Pierce had, it was scoring. He accumulated 26,397 points with splits of 44.5 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from 3, and 80.6 percent from the line, which allowed him to finish 17th in the all-time scoring list. He’s ahead of Dwyane Wade, Tim Duncan, Patrick Ewing and more. He averaged 20-plus points per game in eight seasons and averaged over double figures in 17 seasons, only failing to hit the 10-point mark in his final two seasons. 

The one thing that surprised me looking back at Pierce’s stats was that he entered the league when 3-point shooting wasn’t big, yet he managed to finish No. 12 all-time in 3-point makes with 2,143. He’s ahead of J.J. Reddick, Dirk Nowitzki, Peja Stojakovic, and Carmelo Anthony, who we would have felt probably made more 3-pointers than the Truth. This just proves how underrated he is in terms of 3-point shooting.

So how did he score a ton of points? Pierce is 72nd overall in total 2-point field goals made and it was because of his adept skill to get to the free-throw line that enabled him to climb high in the all-time scoring list. He finished 13th in total free throw attempts (James Harden, who’s 14th, is only 22 attempts down) and 10th in total free throw makes. He was able to use all three levels of scoring to help him achieve such a feat. Combine his ability to score with 1,343 games played (16th all-time) and you have a recipe to become one of the best scorers of the game. Not the greatest, but he’s within the same region when others would put in him a different galaxy.

Another thing that people forget about the Truth is that he was clutch. I vividly remember when he hit the bank shot against Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2015. Tied at 101-all, he got the ball with six seconds left at the top of the circle with Dennis Schoder on him. He took one dribble left and went for the stepback as three Hawks players challenged the shot. He banked it in at the buzzer to win it and Washington took a 2-1 series lead. 

In the postgame interview, the reporter asked him if he called glass, and he responded, “I called game!” This is just one of the clutch moments in his entire career. To further support my point, Mike Lynch of the Ringer wrote an article in 2020 about the most clutch players in the NBA. He even made the criteria harder. He only took note of buzzer-beaters that were also game-winning baskets. Pierce finished tied at third with “Iso” Joe Johnson and LeBron James. Only Kobe Bryant (8) and Michael Jordan (9) are ahead of him. What makes it even more impressive is that out of his seven buzzer-beaters, six of them were unassisted. What also is interesting is that even if Pierce is 12th all-time in 3-point makes, all of his seven buzzer-beaters are 2-pointers. When we talk about the greatest players, we talk about them being clutch, delivering late in the game and the Truth always delivered. 

Lastly, let’s revisit the list of his personal accolades. He’s an NBA Champion and 2008 Finals MVP, 10-time All-Star, 4-time All-NBA, All-Rookie team in 1999, second all-time leader in points for the Boston Celtics, won 56.4 percent of all his career games, and earned over $200 million for his career. He has the accolades that most players wish they had. 

Pierce also created other iconic memories that shocked the world. He hit a 3-pointer over Al Harrington after trash-talking with him. In 2001, he dropped 42 points in only 19 shots against the defending champs Los Angeles Lakers. 

Even though he created a lot of unbelievable moments, he also made a few recent head-scratching things that undermined his credibility. Whether it’s him speaking on podcasts or some self-created incidents, he tends to put himself in a position where fans question his sanity and that’s a shame because people forget all the big-time plays and shots he has done. 

It also doesn’t help his case that he continually answers every critic and every person who calls him out. If you look at the greats, most don’t clamp back or answer unless absolutely necessary. I guess the nickname the Truth hurts him because he always wants to speak the truth. 

No matter what Paul Pierce says, his place in the history books has already been cemented. No one can take it away from him. What can change is the fans’ perception of him. I hope that fans can forgive the stuff Pierce said or did and that he straightens up and doesn’t further damage his reputation. 

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