Celtics will retire Paul Pierce’s number

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Paul Pierce, who finished his playing career with the Clippers, said he’d sign with the Celtics to retire.

They’ll also retire something of his.

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, via CSN New England:

He’s the last number 34 ever for the Celtics.

This was beyond obvious, but it’s always nice to hear someone in charge state the plan.

Pierce is the greatest Celtic since Larry Bird. Even if Kevin Garnett was better at Boston’s most recent peak, which culminated in the 2008 title, Pierce earned credit with years of service before Garnett and Ray Allen arrived. Leading Boston to the 2002 conference finals is an underrated part of his legacy, which includes 10 All-Star appearances, an All-NBA second-team and three All-NBA third-team selections and the 2008 NBA Finals MVP. Pierce is the Celtics’ all-time leader in 3-pointers, free throws and steals, and he ranks second to John Havlicek in points.

After spending 15 years in Boston, Pierce ushered in the Celtics’ next era by facilitating a trade to the Nets, who sent major draft considerations to Boston. Pierce had his moments with the Nets, Wizards and Clippers, but he’ll always be remembered as a Celtic – with his jersey in the rafters serving as a deserved reminder of his impact in Boston.