On Monday, the Boston Celtics signed veteran Paul Pierce so he could then retire as a member of the storied organization.
Pierce, an NBA All-Star 10 times, spent his first 15 NBA seasons with the Celtics winning an NBA title in 2008. While he announced the retirement of Pierce, Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck also said that the No. 34 wore by Pierce for 15 seasons would soon be retired and hang from the TD Garden rafters.
Grousbeck said through a press release that the Celtics are proud Paul chose to retire a Celtic. He is amongst the very best to play for Boston and is both a champion on as well as of the basketball court.
The co-owner added that the team congratulated Pierce on his Hall of Fame career as well as was looking forward to seeing his No. 34 raised high to the TD Garden rafters.
Boston drafted Pierce in 1998 with the No. 10 pick overall. Pierce was traded from Boston to the Brooklyn Nets, then played for the Washington Wizards before finishing his career with the Los Angeles Clippers who are coached by Doc Rivers, the same coach Pierce played for when the Celtics won the NBA title in 2008.
Pierce in his release said it had been an honor to have played for the team and once again have the opportunity to call himself a player with the Boston Celtics. The organization as well as the city took him in and made him one of their own, Pierce added in the release. He ended the release by saying he could not imagine ending his playing career any other way as he is a Celtic for life.
Boston had planned for quite some time to sign Pierce in order for him to retire as a Celtic and those plans were revealed last summer by Rivers as Pierce was pondering his future in the NBA.
Pierce decided to return for his 19th season and played an emotional last game in February at TD Garden saying it was like a true sendoff in the NBA.
Pierce retires as the Celtics all time 3-point field goals leader with 1,823, free throws leader with 6,434 and steals leader with 1,583. He is second in career points with Boston at 24,021 trailing only John Havlicek.
The Celtics filmed Pierce taking a few last practice shots at TD Garden on Monday prior to calling it a career.