After being selected 10th by the Boston Celtics out of Kansas in the 1998 NBA Draft, Paul Pierce played the first 15 seasons of his career with the team. Today was the last time Pierce will be able to play in front of Celtic fans at TD Garden unless the Los Angeles Clippers and Celtics meet in the NBA Finals.
Paul Pierce really felt that ovation ☘️👏 pic.twitter.com/nMCwZIh3g3
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 5, 2017
In his time with Boston, Pierce averaged 21.8 points, 6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.4 steals, and .6 blocks per game. In 2008, “The Truth” also brought the Celtics their first NBA championship since Larry Bird was on the roster in 1986.
Although Pierce also split the last four seasons with the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, and Clippers, he will also be known for his time in Beantown. It was in this city that he had the best seasons of his career, won his only NBA championship, and played in moments that will last his lifetime. Pierce left his legacy on a city that has been so storied and so successful in the sporting industry.
In his final game at TD Garden, Pierce scored 3 points in 5 minutes of play, with his only basket coming from 3-point range in the closing seconds of the contest. As expected, the crowd went nuts for their former star.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 5, 2017
These stats may not seem very impressive, but numbers were of least concern is this game, one of the most important games of the season. This was not a must win for either squad, but the emotion surrounding the contest brought a huge spotlight to the game.
Paul Pierce’s last shot in TD Garden. This is what sports are all about. pic.twitter.com/ufTwZwZ09R
— Snap- Joelington_Ave (@joelleGotIt) February 5, 2017
Pierce has missed a lot of this season due to injuries, age and rest, but there was no doubt he was going to play in this game to give the fans in Boston what they deserved, the chance to see him play one last time. To make the night even more special and memorable, Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers decided to start the former Celtic.
Boston has had many memories with Pierce, but this may have been one of the most memorable throughout their time together. Getting to say a final goodbye to somebody they once idolized so much will be something these fans, this organization and the rest of the league will never forget.