basketball

Boston Celtics retire Paul Pierce's jersey

Rightfully nicknamed "The Truth," Pierce won the 2008 NBA championship and was a 10-time All-Star as a member of the Celtics.


Kahron Spearman


10-time All-Star and 2008 NBA champion Paul Pierce let the tears flow, as his No. 34 rose up into the hallowed rafters at TD Garden during his emotional jersey retirement celebration Sunday following the Celtics' 121-99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He, his family, former coach Doc Rivers, and old teammates - including Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo - watched on as his number took its rightful place with other Celtics legends and Boston's 17 championship banners. 

One of those banners include the 2008 championship, with which he won with fellow future Hall of Famer Garnett and Rondo.

I didn't expect that at all, especially coming from rivals and it just helps me realize the impact that I was able to have and the respect that I was given throughout the course of my career. You've heard Kobe say it, you've heard LeBron [James] say it. I wasn't a flashy player or had the commercials and top-selling shoes, but I was a player that was well-respected, and people know when I came into the gym that they had to be ready also. For them to give the praise they gave that means a lot because Magic Johnson was my idol and Kobe Bryant was my rival. It means a lot.

Paul Pierce
Future Hall of Fame forward

While there was much for Paul Pierce to be happy about on what should've been one of the best nights of his life, he couldn't have been pleased with the fact that a LeBron James-led team destroyed the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics. 

James had 24 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds in the 121-99 win, where the four trade-deadline newcomers contributed. The loss foretold probable future the Boston faithful will have nightmares over.

Still, the moment was infinitely more sweet than bitter for Pierce.

"If I never make the Hall of Fame or anything, to go up and make the rafters as a retired number for the Celtics, that's just enough," said Pierce after the ceremony. "Everything else is icing on the cake."

SOU  RCES