It never felt right seeing Paul Pierce playing in anything other than a Boston Celtics jersey. The future Hall of Fame forward played with the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards, but those were only minor pit stops in comparison to the 15 years he spent in Boston.
All felt right in the world after seeing “The Truth” suit up in green and take a few shots at the Celtics practice facility on Monday. The team announced they had signed the 39-year-old forward so he could officially retire as a member of the Celtics.
Paul Pierce will retire in green ☘️
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 17, 2017
It’s a grand gesture for one of the franchise’s all-time great players.
In an official press release from the team, it was noted that Pierce owns franchise records for field goals (1,823), free throws (6,434) and steals (1,583). He is also the Celtics’ second all-time leading scorer behind Hall of Famer John Havlicek.
“We’re honored that Paul has chosen to retire as a Celtic,” said Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck. “He is among the very best Celtics — a champion on and off the court. We congratulate Paul on a Hall of Fame career, and look forward to seeing his number raised to the rafters of TD Garden.”
The Celtics selected Pierce with the No. 10 pick of the 1998 NBA Draft. It proved to be one of the best draft choices in franchise history, as he went on to become a 10-time NBA All-Star. However, the apex of his career came when he joined forces with fellow superstars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to create a super team in Boston.
They went on to defeat Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals to deliver Boston’s first NBA title since 1986. However, long before Garnett and Allen came on board, Pierce was the lone superstar playing hero ball to keep the Celtics relevant.
“It’s an honor to have this opportunity to once again call myself a Boston Celtic,” said Pierce, via the release. “The organization and city took me in and made me one of their own, and I couldn’t imagine ending my career any other way. I’m a Celtic for life.”
It’s a shame fans won’t actually get a chance to see Pierce finish his career on the court in a Celtics uniform, but they can at least be thankful for countless memories.
For a moment in time, Pierce served as the face for one of the greatest franchises in NBA history, and now, every time we look high into the rafters of the TD Garden and see his jersey hanging, we can all be thankful for having witnessed.
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