Paul Pierce Says He Carried a Gun for 2 Years After Being Stabbed in 2000

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2020

Former Boston Celtic Paul Pierce attends the NBA basketball game between the Celtics and the Houston Rockets in Boston, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Paul Pierce told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the All The Smoke podcast Thursday that he carried a gun with him everywhere he went for two years after he was stabbed in 2000. 

"People don't know this, but I actually carried a gun for two years right after that,"he said (h/t TMZ Sports). "I was so paranoid. Like, I kept it in the car, I had it on me, I was so paranoid after that. I was just like, I couldn't be in crowds. Something like that happens to you, man, it's traumatic.

Pierce was in his third year with the Boston Celtics in 2000 when he was stabbed three times in the stomach and five times in the back at the Buzz Club in Boston. He had to undergo emergency surgery for a collapsed lung. 

"It changes you, dude. You don't know where to go, you don't know who to look at, you on your toes," he told Barnes and Jackson. "You're like really on your toes, like, 'Man, I'll kill somebody.'"

Pierce has previously opened up on the incident, telling ESPN's Jackie MacMullan in 2018 that he battled depression for a year. He said he spent the majority of his time either playing basketball or at home after the stabbing. 

"I think that's the reason I got back on the court so fast," he told MacMullan. "Me sitting at home thinking about [the stabbing] didn't work. I went to every practice, sat on the sideline for hours, because that's where I felt safe. I didn't want those practices to end because then I had to go back out there in this world that really scared me."

Despite being stabbed in September, Pierce returned to the Celtics for the start of the 2000-01 season and played in all 82 games, remarkably averaging 25.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. But the trauma of the attack didn't dissipate. 

"It was so bad that I couldn't even, like, sleep," he told Barnes and Jackson. "... I had to have a 24-hour police surveillance in my house, that's how paranoid I was."