Paul Pierce might have ended his playing career as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, but he will always be remembered as the captain of the Boston Celtics.
On Monday, “The Truth” signed a one-day contract to officially retire as a member of the Celtics.
Pierce spent the first 15 seasons of his career in Boston and was a 10-time All-Star during his time there. He won his lone championship in 2008 alongside Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and was a key piece of the original “Big Three”.
Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck also said that Pierce’s No. 34 will hang from the rafters at the TD Garden in a corresponding ceremony.
"We're honored that Paul has chosen to retire as a Celtic. He is among the very best Celtics -- a champion on and off the court," Grousbeck said in a release. "We congratulate Paul on a Hall of Fame career, and look forward to seeing his number raised to the rafters of TD Garden.”
While Pierce moved on to play for the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Clippers, he always felt like his home was in Boston.
"It's an honor to have this opportunity to once again call myself a Boston Celtic," Pierce said in the release. "The organization and city took me in and made me one of their own, and I couldn't imagine ending my career any other way. I'm a Celtic for life.”
Via Chris Forsberg of ESPN, the Celtics noted that Pierce retired as the team's all-time leader in 3-point field goals (1,823), free throws (6,434), and steals (1,583). He's also ranks second in franchise history in scoring with 24,021 career points, trailing just John Havlicek. Given the history of the franchise, his presence at the top of the charts speaks volumes.
Via the official press release, Pierce also retires in the organization’s top-10 lists in games played (3rd – 1,102), minutes played (3rd – 40,360), field goals (3rd – 7,882), field goal attempts (2nd – 17,630), three-point field goal attempts (1st – 4,928), free throw attempts (1st – 7,979), offensive rebounds (8th – 1,008), rebounds (7th – 6,651), assists (5th – 4,305) and blocked shots (4th – 668).
Fittingly, Pierce ended his career in Boston exactly 18 years to the day that he made his debut with the team after being taken 10th overall in the 1998 NBA Draft.
Now the question becomes whether or not Pierce will assume a role within the organization, either on the coaching staff or in the front office. Considering his reputation in the organization, one would assume that if he’s interested, he will be given an opportunity.