The Truth
March 23, 2020

This unearthed footage of Paul Pierce at the McDonald's All-American Dunk Contest is tough to watch

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Listen, we're not here to slander Paul Pierce. The man—nay, THE TRUTH—may not be a once-in-a-generation NBA talent, but he was one of his generation's best, widely know for being one of the least athletic-looking athletic dudes in Association history. Perhaps because of that stealth factor, Pierce made a career out of blowing by guys with his duck-footed drive, all while draining game winner after LeBron-daggering game winner. Ask any modern Celtics fan, and they'll tell you all that and more, but what they won't mention is this newly infamous footage of Paul Pierce's 1995 McDonald's All-American Dunk Contest performance, which is, to put it kindly, one of the worst things we've ever seen full stop. Sorry Paul, we hate to do this to ya.

The truth (get it?) hurts, and the truth is this: For all of Paul Pierce's natural basketball gifts, a vertical wasn't one of them. He more than made up for it as the main man in basketball's OG Big Three, and will probably be headed for Springfield one day, but that doesn't make this any easier to watch. Especially when you compare it to what high school kids are doing IN GAME these days.

Even if he had thrown those dunks down, though, it probably wouldn't have mattered. As it turns out, Paul Pierce was up against some guy named Vince Carter in the finals. Maybe you've heard of him . . .