B O S T O N, Sept. 25, 2000 -- Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics was stabbed inthe face, neck and back while in the pool room of a nightclub earlytoday and was listed in fair condition.
The 22-year-old player underwent surgery, Boston radio stationWEEI-AM said, quoting an unidentified hospital source. New EnglandMedical Center would not release information except to list hiscondition.
“He’s doing fine. We’re all hoping for a speedy recovery,”said Celtics head coach Rick Pitino, speaking briefly to reportersas he left the hospital today.
Pierce was stabbed at about 1 a.m. while at a private event at theBuzz Club in the city’s theater district, police spokeswomanMariellen Burns said.
She added that he apparently was with several friends, includingat least one teammate she did not identify. The friends drovePierce to the hospital.
No Arrests Made
Police said they were investigating witness reports that thefight involved people connected to the local rap group Made Men.There were no immediate arrests.
“We’re not sure what the altercation was about,” Burns said.“We’re not even sure Mr. Pierce and his friends were involved inwhat this altercation was about.”
Former Celtics star and coach Tommy Heinsohn said Piercehad been wearing a leather jacket, which helped protect him. Burnssaid she could not confirm that information.
The nightclub, which operates under different names at differenttimes of the week, would be cited for allowing an assault andbattery on its premises, Burns said. She said there have beenseveral other violations, including at least two assaults, at theclub in the past year.
Pierce was to report for the start of training camp next Monday.He apparently was in Massachusetts to participate in Red Auerbach’scharity golf tournament, which was being held today in Salem.
“He was very lucky,” said K.C. Jones, a former Celticsstandout and coach. “He had the angels on his side.”
Cornerstone of Celtics Team
Pierce, 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, averaged 19.5 points for theCeltics last season. He ranks second in the NBA in steals per gamewith 2.08.
Pierce, Boston’s most complete player, played forward and guardlast season. He is the cornerstone of a team trying to break astreak of five seasons without making the playoffs.
He is one of the few mainstays on a team that has undergoneconsiderable change since Pitino became coach before the 1997-98season. Pierce is an outstanding defender and aggressive rebounderwith good shooting range.
Pierce, an All-American at Kansas, was drafted in the firstround in 1998 after his junior season.
As a rookie, he was 10th in NBA three-point field goalpercentage and averaged 16.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.71 stealsin 34 minutes a game.
Last season, his 19.5 points and 35.4 minutes per game were bothsecond on the team, trailing Antoine Walker. He was second in theNBA in steals per game with 2.08.