Celtics governor and managing partner Wyc Grousbeck said of Pierce, “He is among the very best Celtics—a champion on and off the court. We congratulate Paul on a Hall of Fame career, and look forward to seeing his number raised to the rafters of TD Garden.”
The 19-year veteran, who spent the twilight of his career with the Brooklyn Nets, the Washington Wizards, and the Clippers, was drafted 10th overall by Boston in 1998, and revitalized the franchise during the post-Larry Bird era.
“It’s an honor to have this opportunity to once again call myself a Boston Celtic. 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,” declared Pierce, who also guided the team to its 17th and most recent championship in 2008 as Finals MVP.
Despite his accomplishments with Boston, many are still questioning the future Hall of Famer’s loyalty, especially with how he basically ring-chased in his last four seasons. Those people don’t realize that this was the only way the 39-year-old could end his NBA journey where it all began.
He’s not even the first basketball player to take part in a ceremonial addition before hanging up his boots.
Amar’e Stoudemire did the same thing last year, with the New York Knicks. While fans argued that he should’ve went out in Phoenix, where he saw the best years of his playing days, the Big Apple isn’t a bad choice either, considering that STAT put NY back on the map upon his arrival in 2010.
Even non-players are qualified for a one-day contract. The likes of JP Gibson (Utah Jazz), Trent Frost (Golden State Warriors), Parker Stevens (Chicago Bulls), and Stephen Register (Boston Celtics) were made honorary members of their respective teams as part of the league’s social responsibility initiative.
Last season, Dallas football legend Tony Romo became a “Maverick for a day,” joining the team in the warm-ups, the starting lineup announcement, and the bench for its final home game. The quarterback almost suited up for the Mavericks, if only Commissioner Adam Silver let him.
It may seem that Pierce had turned his back on Boston during the tail end of his career, but in the process, he also set up the Celtics for a bright future—Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, 2018 pick. ‘The Truth’ of the matter is, he is the modern-day leprechaun who brought luck to the franchise.
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