The Boston Celtics will retire Paul Pierce's No. 34 this February, the team announced Friday. "For our era, the most recent era, he embodied the Celtics' leadership, the Celtics' brand and was the MVP of the championship team".
Pierce's 34 will be the 22nd number to hang in the rafters at TD Garden. The Clippers were one of three teams Pierce played for after his Celtics days were over, along with the Brooklyn Nets (retiring his jersey in front of the team that mortgaged their future for Pierce and Kevin Garnett would be too cruel) and the Washington Wizards.
"It's going to be fantastic", Pagliuca said. "He was one of the greatest players of his era". Pierce called his decision to retire as a Celtic a "no-brainer", saying that the organization and city took him and made him one of their own.
After being selected by Boston with the 10th overall pick in 1998, Pierce spent 15 seasons playing for the Celtics in which he accomplished a series of noteworthy milestones. "I'm a Celtic for life", said Pierce.
Pierce was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player after averaging nearly 22 points per game in the six-game series against the Los Angeles Lakers. That's a Sunday afternoon contest scheduled for 3:30 p.m. that will be televised nationally on ABC.
Pierce's scoring total is the second highest among players in franchise history and in the 2001-02 season, Pierce became the only Celtic to ever lead the National Basketball Association in total points scored with 2,144.