10 years later ...
The incident occurred just days before the start of training camp for the 2000-01 season and shook an organization that was starting to turn the corner after landing Pierce with the 10th overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft.
Fortunately, Pierce recovered to play in all 82 games that season. By 2001-02, he earned the first of his eight All-Star Game nods and helped Boston return to the playoffs for the first time since the 1994-95 team (what's more, Boston advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals that year before falling to the New Jersey Nets).
But the now decade-old incident made Pierce's comments Saturday to reporters at his Health Rally in downtown Boston all that much more poignant. From the Boston Herald's Dan Duggan:
"I'm a father, I'm a husband, I've grown, I've matured off the court, on the court," said Pierce, who turns 33 on Oct. 13. “I have a chance to finish out my career here as a Celtic. I'm living in a dream right now, truthfully. I'm at a good place in my life and I'm happy."
It's amazing to think how both Pierce's life and the future of the organization could have changed on Sept. 25, 2000. Ten years later, both Pierce and the Celtics are thriving.
(h/t: CelticsBlog Forums)
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