The Boston Celtics will give Paul Pierce the highest honour which is bestowed upon any basketball player and that will be having their jersey retired to the rafters. Pierce’s 34 jersey will become the latest in a long line of Celtics legends to be hung within the TD Garden. Pierce however won’t be alone as he’ll have the company of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Bob Cousy and Bill Russell just to name a few.
This announcement comes days after Pierce retired from his last NBA game which was against the Utah Jazz in their round one game seven where the Jazz won 104-91. Pierce retired from the NBA after playing nineteen seasons, fifteen of those years were spent playing with the Boston Celtics who drafted him back in 1998 and was the tenth overall pick. Pierce was also traded to the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards before ending his career at the LA Clippers.
Throughout the 2007-08 NBA season, Pierce won a championship with the Celtics along with the help of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to earn Boston their seventeenth championship. Even though Garnett and Allen only spent six and five years in Boston respectively, their time in Boston was shorter then Pierce’s, their jersey’s – which number five belongs to Garnett and number 20 which belongs to Allen – are still being discussed about what number is going to be retired next. Another more recent candidate about retiring a jersey is no other than Rajon Rondo who spent his first eight and the beginning of his ninth season in the NBA with the Boston Celtics.
Pierce was given a nickname from Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal after the Lakers 112-107 victory over the Celtics back in March 2001. O’Neal pulled a reporter over and indicated to his notepad that he should write this down. “My name is Shaquille O’Neal and Paul Pierce is the motherfucking truth. Quote me on that and don’t take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn’t know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the Truth.”
Just a month before the NBA 2016-17 season was about to start Pierce made the announcement that the current season was about to become his last and speaking to the The Players Tribune, Pierce was about to enjoy every last bus ride, plane ride, practice’s and team dinners as he was set to retire.
“This is it. My final season.”