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The Truth & The Answer

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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“Take this down. My name is Shaquille O’Neal and Paul Pierce is the 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.” – Shaquille O’Neal

On March 13, 2001, during his third season in the NBA, Paul Pierce scored a game-high 42 points for the Boston Celtics against the Los Angeles Lakers. After the game, O’Neal pulled aside Boston Herald sportswriter Steve Bulpett and issued the statement above. Shaq’s point was clear – Paul Pierce was going to be a major force in the league for many years to come.

Shaq was right about Pierce, who went on to a stellar 19-year career during which he scored 26,397 points, the 15th highest total in NBA history. Pierce also led the Celtics to two finals and one world championship and was named to 10 All-Star teams.

After 15 seasons with the Celtics, Pierce was traded to the Brooklyn Nets but only lasted one year with them before signing as a free agent with the Washington Wizards. Then, after two lackluster seasons with the LA Clippers, Pierce finally retired in 2017 after being released.

Despite his many talents and surefire Hall of Fame career, there was one opponent that Paul Pierce couldn’t defeat: Father Time. He may have been nicknamed “the Truth” as a young player approaching his prime, but Pierce found out later that “time and tide wait for no man.”

Allen Iverson was a contemporary of Pierce’s, playing 14 seasons – mostly with the Philadelphia 76ers – and winning four scoring titles and one MVP award. One of his nicknames was “the Answer”, but Iverson couldn’t beat Father Time either. After bouncing from the Sixers to the Nuggets to the Pistons to the Grizzlies and back to the Sixers in his last three years, Iverson played an abbreviated season in Turkey before finally hanging up his sneakers.

Paul Pierce and Allen Iverson would both be wise to recognize that there is only one Truth and only one Answer. His name is Jesus… and Father Time has no effect on Him, because He is eternally God.

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV)

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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