Paul Pierce Gets No. 34 Retired By Celtics

Robert Parish calls Paul Pierce the greatest offensive player in Boston Celtics history

A "Thank You Paul Pierce" chant followed as the TD Garden crowd did not want the moment to end.

"The Truth" doesn't have to dream about that day anymore.

The game will be a mere afterthought, and instead, Celtics fans will remember the day as the culmination of Paul Pierce's storied career in Boston. He became the 23rd person in franchise history to have his number or name enshrined by the Celtics organization.

"This is just a special day", Pierce said afterward. That's enough for me. "You got to see it before it happens to accomplish anything great".

A reunion of sorts of the 2007-08 Celtics was held a year ago, when Pierce, Garnett, Rondo and center Kendrick Perkins appeared together on a "Room 21" segment on "The NBA on TNT". Pierce's 24,021 points also put him in second behind Havlicek (26,395).

Pierce credited his mother, Lorraine Hosey, and brothers Jamal and Steve Hosey, for inspiring him.

"Paul and I talk a lot, stay in contact a lot and so do all of us", Rivers said before the game.

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He later cried when acknowledging his wife, Julie, and their three children. A handful of Pierce's former teammates were in attendance.

Pierce figured the festivities, which followed Boston's game against Cleveland, would toy with his emotions, and he was right. Pierce's childhood idol, Magic Johnson, offered kind words, as did Lakers legend and Pierce's two-time NBA Finals rival Kobe Bryant.

Pierce, resplendent in a green blazer and blue tie, sat courtside for Sunday's game. Everyone came out for the occasion, including former teammates Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo.

Pierce's assessment of Rivers feels like a touch of hyperbole. He said the 2008 championship solidified Pierce's status as an all-time great in Boston.

"Celtic pride will always be with me and my family. When you win a title you become a main man, and that made Paul", Rivers said. "My daughter was born April of the year we won it, my first daughter, so they didn't really get a chance".

When it came time for his celebration, Pierce ditched a speech he had written and made a decision to just go from the heart.

"I was thinking about the last time I pulled ropes up there I was tearing up crying and I was trying not to cry", said Pierce. "But there's no greater honor than having your National Basketball Association jersey retired for the Boston Celtics". "I left a legacy". My college jersey retired.


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