Back to where it all began
Paul Pierce has signed a contract with the Boston Celtics, which will enable him to retire with the team he spent his first 15 seasons with.
Pierce has commented by saying: “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.”
Pierce was the 10th overall pick for the Celtics in the 1998 NBA draft. In his time as a Celtics player, he was integral to the Celtics clinching the 2008 NBA title. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the championship series and became the third Celtic ever to earn MVP honors in his first NBA Finals Appearance—following Jo Jo White (1974) and Cedric Maxwell (1981).
His stats as a Celtics player have set an impressive standard. The Celtics have stated that Pierce retires as the team's all-time leader in 3-point field goals (1,823), free throws (6,434) and steals (1,583). He will retire with 24,021 career points, second only to John Havlicek.
Many fellow NBA players acknowledge Pierce’s talent and class both on and off the court. In fact, his character and skills were what got him one of his very well-known nicknames: The Truth. Shaquille O’Neal went off on a complimentary rant about Pierce after Pierce handed the Lakers a loss by 42 points. O’Neal told the reporter, “Take this down. My name is Shaquille O’Neal and Paul Pierce is the [expletive] truth. Quote me on that, and don’t take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn’t know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the truth.” Pierce took the nickname to heart and lived up to the expectations.
What’s next for Pierce? Fortunately, he’ll be staying pretty close to the court as an ESPN NBA analyst. In addition to his role as an analyst, Pierce hopes to get a role in broadcasting.
You will be dearly missed on the court, Paul Pierce, #34, The Truth.