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The Truth's Route

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Jackie MacMullan, easily the best basketball writer for my money, has a great article on Our Captain and his path to Finals MVP.

He is not a tidy superstar. You cannot neatly wrap the career of Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce, the newly minted NBA Finals Most Valuable Player and first-time champion, in a perfectly symmetrical box with a corresponding matching ribbon.

His path to greatness has been far too gnarly for that.

"You're right," he said, still gleefully gripping his championship hat in the wee hours Wednesday morning. "Life has so many hurdles. Some of them I've hopped over, and some of them I've tripped over. The key is to get back up and finish the race."

Pierce is the first MVP to survive a nightclub stabbing so severe that wounds a half inch closer to his lung would have been fatal. It has been eight years since he lay bleeding in former teammate Tony Battie's car, his friend imploring him to "Hang on, man, hang on!" as he raced toward a Boston hospital.