As if there were really any doubt, Celtics fans can rest assured that No. 34 and No. 5 will indeed hang from the rafters of TD Garden one day, along with the numbers worn by rest of the Celtics’ all-time greats.
Wyc Grousbeck, managing partner and co-owner of the Celtics, confirmed Tuesday that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, future Hall of Famers who helped bring a 17th NBA championship to Boston in 2008, will have their numbers retired by the organization at the end of their careers.
“These are guys that I can’t imagine giving those numbers out to anybody else,” Grousbeck said on WEEI.
Grousbeck called Pierce the “linchpin” of the Celtics’ success during his tenure, which predates Grousbeck’s involvement with the team as part of Boston Basketball Partners LLC. Grousbeck also referenced the oft-repeated claim that Garnett changed the culture when he came to Boston in 2007, and cited Garnett’s decision to turn down multiple offers to play elsewhere as a free agent last summer and through trades this season as a contributing factor to the inevitability that The Big Ticket’s number will eventually be retired.
The Celtics have retired 21 numbers, the most of any major franchise in North American sports. The last number they retired was Cedric Maxwell‘s No. 31 back in 2003.