Paul Pierce is getting his jersey retired by the Boston Celtics on February 11, but the team has another plan that same evening.
That night is the first that the Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers will meet in which former Boston guard Isaiah Thomas will be active to play. As such, the team is planning a video tribute for Thomas, which Pierce has said he would rather see the team skip.
The Cavaliers and the Celtics met for the first time in 2018 on Wednesday, but Thomas was not active. Thomas asked the team to skip a video tribute, and they decided to move it to the Feb. 11 matchup.
Pierce — who played for the Celtics for 15 seasons — offered that the team could run an Instagram video instead.
“I’m not saying Isaiah shouldn’t get a tribute video … but on Feb. 11, the night I get my jersey retired, I’m not sure I want to look up at the JumboTron and see Isaiah highlights,’ Pierce said Thursday during an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump.
“That’s Pierce’s night. But, like, the video tribute ain’t the whole night,” Thomas said. “I just wanted my family to be here to see it. That’s what it came down to. I wanted to be able to play. And I wanted my family to experience the love and appreciation this city and this organization is going to give me on that night. And when my representatives reached out to these guys, [the Celtics] were all for it. They agreed on it.
“I don’t know why [some people are] so mad about it. I’m not taking nothing from Paul Pierce. He did 15 years here so there’s nothing that I can take from him. But if they choose to do it that night, that would be great and I would be honored. And my family and friends can see how much they appreciated me here.”
It would be a bad look for the Celtics to dip on an IT tribute video now, even at the request of Paul Pierce. It seems like Pierce should get over it — he’s having his jersey hung in the stadium forever for goodness sake — but I doubt that happens.