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Paul Pierce
Photo: Damian Strohmeyer/SI

Paul Pierce

"The Truth"

In 2001, Paul Pierce's third year in the NBA, the Boston Celtics suffered a 112-107 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles. Boston may have lost, but Pierce was 13 for 19, scoring a stellar 42 points. "Take this down," Shaquille O'Neal said to a Boston reporter after the game. "My name is Shaquille O'Neal, and Paul Pierce is the [expletive] truth. Quote me on that, and don't take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn't know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the truth." Since then, Paul Pierce is otherwise known as The Truth.

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