Paul Pierce has recently opened up about a stabbing that happened when he was just 23 years old and changed his life.
The Celtics legend detailed the incident – which happened right before his third NBA season – in an emotional conversation during an appearance on FOX’s Stars on Mars.
“I was out [at a] nightclub, got into an altercation, and I was like 23 years old, living my dream, and then all of the sudden I’m fighting death,” Pierce said. “Not only was it a low point, it was a high point for me, too, because it changed my thinking, it changed my mindset, it changed how I live.”
The now 45-year-old explained that the incident has helped to get him through hard times and create perseverance the last 22 years.
“I’ve showed endurance in my life because I never gave up,” Pierce said. “I kept going and going.”
Stars on Mars is a survivor-like reality show and consists of tasks and challenges, so Pierce likened the stabbing to his experience on the show.
The first few days he was struggling with it all but then was able to finally gain some ground.
“It’s kinda been my life, starting at the bottom and rising up,” The NBA champion explained.
The stabbing was brutal and Pierce was stabbed 11 times while sustaining injuries to his face, neck, and back and even had a bottle cracked over his head.
He had surgery to repair the injuries and was able to play the entire 2000–01 season following the stabbing.
However, he has admitted in the past that the incident left him with mental scars.
“It was so bad that I couldn’t even, like, sleep,” Pierce said back in 2020 on All The Smoke. “I had to have a 24-hour police surveillance in my house, that’s how paranoid I was.
“It changes you, dude. You don’t know where to go, you don’t know who to look at, you on your toes. You’re, like, really on your toes, like, ‘Man, I’ll kill somebody.’”