The Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce, the most valuable player in the 2008 NBA Finals, was handcuffed by Las Vegas police early Sunday after he was initially uncooperative following a traffic stop for driving erratically on the Strip.
Bill Cassell, public information officer for the Metropolitan Police Department, said he did not have the details about why Pierce was cuffed but said it often happens when "an individual is loudly hostile."
"You have to remember he's a big guy," Cassell said.
Pierce, a forward who is 6 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 235 pounds, "rapidly calmed down," and police removed the handcuffs after about 15 minutes, Cassell said.
"We find this happens a lot of times," Cassell said. "Someone is a little agitated, and when they're placed in handcuffs, they rethink things."
The traffic stop occurred around 3 a.m. near Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue, Cassell said.
Officers gave Pierce field sobriety tests, which often take up to an hour, he said.
A Breathalyzer showed Pierce registered below the 0.08 level that defines legal intoxication in Nevada.
Pierce did not drive the car after he was stopped.
"He made a decision to have one of the valets park his car for the night," Cassell said.
Police did not cite Pierce for a traffic infraction.
"We don't cite everybody we stop," Cassell said. "Sometimes we give just a verbal warning. It's based on the totality of the circumstances."
Pierce, a frequent NBA all-star, led the Celtics to the NBA championship over the Los Angeles Lakers in June.