Former NBA star and ESPN basketball analyst Paul Pierce was in Boston over the weekend, stopping at a marijuana dispensary to promote his new line of “Truth Number 34” cannabis products. During his visit, the former Boston Celtics forward told fans and dispensary customers that the new brand’s products are as reliable as he was on the court with the clock ticking down to zero.
“I know we’re going to bring something you can depend on, something you can go to, something that’s clutch,” Pierce said at the promotional appearance on Sunday.
“Similar to my play,” he added. “That’s what my product is going to be.”
Pierce announced earlier this year that he would be launching his new brand in the capital of Massachusetts, where legal sales of adult-use cannabis began in 2018. Plans for the new venture include a line of cannabis edibles, topicals and concentrates sold under the brand name Truth, which was Pierce’s nickname as an NBA player. A signature strain of cannabis flower is slated to land on dispensary shelves next year.
“I have such a great connection with Boston,” Pierce told the Boston Globe in May, “so I’m excited to bring the brand there first and educate people on the plant—how it can help in everyday life and also in sports and recovery.”
Paul Pierce on Cannabis For Health
Pierce became a vocal cannabis advocate after surviving a brutal stabbing attack at a Boston nightclub in September 2000. He said that cannabis had saved his life after the assault, which nearly killed him and left him psychologically traumatized. Although Pierce recovered physically remarkably quickly, he struggled with paranoia, anxiety, depression and insomnia after the attack.
“I was dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety and sleep issues—a lot,” he said. “So I really leaned more on cannabis. But it was difficult, man.”
Pierce described how pharmaceuticals prescribed by the team doctors were ineffective and had undesirable if not dangerous side effects.
“Athletes don’t even know what’s in these pills. The league doctors just say, ‘Take this, take that, here’s a prescription,’” he said. “We get addicted to that stuff. It’s so harmful for your body. You don’t realize your liver and all your other organs are taking a pounding.”
“You really couldn’t do it while you were playing during the season because of the tests, but there were times I couldn’t even help it — I took an edible or smoked a joint just to get some sleep, and had to deal with the consequences,” he added. “It was really bad for me early on.”
Pierce Fired by ESPN After Posting Racy Weed Video
After retiring from the NBA in 2017, Pierce took a job as a basketball analyst for ESPN, working on the sports network’s shows The Jump and NBA Countdown. But after he posted an Instagram video earlier this year that showed him smoking marijuana with scantily clad women twerking in the background, Pierce was fired in April by ESPN, which is owned by family-oriented entertainment conglomerate Disney.
Pierce apparently took the job loss in stride, however, posting a video on Instagram the day after being fired in which he shared his positive attitude with the world.
“Yo, just want to thank all my supporters and thank my haters and everything,” Pierce said in the video. “Check it out, bigger and better things coming, baby. Don’t worry about it. You fall twice, you get up three times. Just always remember to smile, baby.”
Only three weeks later, he posted another video that showed him surrounded by cannabis plants in a cultivation facility, hinting at the upcoming business venture.
“We’re over in the lab, baby,” he said while panning the camera, adding “Coming soon, baby.”
A.J. Herrington is a San Diego-based freelance writer covering cannabis news, business, and culture.