The Boston Celtics decide to retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 throughout the season next year, cementing his 15-year gift with the franchise.
The Celtics declared Friday they’re going to honor Pierce after a midseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11.
A 10-time All-Star, Pierce spent the primary fifteen years of his career with the Celtics, serving to the club to the NBA title in 2008.
“We teamed up with Paul from the start of our possession and grew to be champions along,” Celtics co-owner and governing partner Wyc Grousbeck aforesaid during a statement. “He’s an excellent person and an excellent Celtic.”
Ten alternative Celtics players donned the No. 34 before Pierce obtaining drafted by the team with the tenth overall choose in 1998. The Celtics currently can raise his range among the opposite legends and champions.
“I can invariably be grateful for the sacrifices Paul created to assist the Celtics be nice,” aforesaid Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “His love for the sport was contagious and his skills and labor were legendary. He was one in every of the best players of his era.”
Pierce’s No. 34 are going to be ceremonially raised to the rafters of TD Garden but ten years once he helped raise the Celtics’ seventeenth championship banner to the exact same ceiling in 2008.
“The moment i used to be drafted by the Celtics, I knew i used to be connection one among the foremost historic organizations within the NBA,” Pierce aforesaid. “For fifteen years, I contend at the Garden, trying up at the jerseys of a number of the foremost picture players within the game — Russell, Bird and Cousy. To currently be recognized aboard those names is such an honor. I actually have invariably aforesaid i might be a Celtic for all times, and currently it’s very coming back true.”
Pierce was named the NBA Finals most valuable player in 2008. He averaged 21.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.08 steals and 38.8 minutes in this six-game series on the way to the Celtics’ 1st championship banner since 1986 as they defeated the LA Lakers.
“Paul was a transcendent player, an excellent leader, and extraordinary teammate; merely one amongst of the good Celtics in every method,” aforesaid Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca. “His range within the rafters can forever informus of the enjoyment he dropped at the sport of basketball and his love for the fans and also the town of Boston.”
While his role within the 2008 NBA Finals are going to be forever remembered as a key a part of his Celtics heritage, it absolutely was a performance earlier that post season that’s wide remembered collectively of his additional picture moments in Boston. Battling the Cleveland Cavaliers in an exceedingly decisive Game seven of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Pierce and LeBron James battled head-to-head in an exceedingly back-and-forth marking affair that saw each stars score over 40 points. The Celtics captain scored 41 points to upend Cleveland 97-92 and advance to the eastern Conference finals.
Pierce’s fifteen seasons in Boston from 1998-99 to 2012-13 trails solely John Havlicek (16) for the foremost seasons spent during a Celtics uniform. Pierce averaged 21.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.44 steals and 36.6 minutes in his 1,102 career games with the Celtics.
Pierce, a 6-foot-7 forward, superior in the franchise lists in 3-point field goals (1,823), free throws (6,434) and steals (1,583), whereas additionally inserting because the Celtics’ second incomparable leading scorer with 24,021 career points.
Pierce’s No. 34, that was additionally retired at the University of Kansas on January. 25, 2003, can represent the 22nd retired variety in Celtics franchise history. He becomes the primary Celtic to possess his number retired since Cedric Maxwell’s No. 31 was retired on Dec. 15, 2003.
Pierce signed a one-day contract with the Celtics on July 17 in an exceedingly move that allowed him to retire as a member of the franchise.
Pierce averaged 19.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists whereas enjoying in 1,343 career games with the Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and LA Clippers.