The No. 34 hasn’t been worn by a member of the Boston Celtics since Paul Pierce was traded from the team in the summer of 2013. And soon, it will have its rightful place in the TD Garden rafters.
Pierce returned to Boston on Monday to sign a one-day contract to retire as a member of the team that drafted him 19 years ago. Following the ceremonial signing, Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck announced the team’s plan to honor “The Truth.”
“We’re honored that Paul has chosen to retire as a Celtic,” Grousbeck told Celtics.com. “He is among the very best Celtics – a champion on and off the court. We congratulate Paul on a Hall of Fame career, and look forward to seeing his number raised to the rafters of TD Garden.”
The honor certainly is deserving. Pierce was named to 10 NBA All-Star teams during his 15-year stint with the C’s, and helped bring the franchise’s 17th championship in 2008, in which he earned Finals MVP honors.
He holds multiple franchise records, including most 3-point field goals (1,823), free throws (6,434) and steals (1,583). He’s also second on the team’s all-time scoring list with 24,021 points.
Pierce’s No. 34 will be the 22nd number retired by the Celtics, joining the likes of Bill Russell, John Havlicek and Larry Bird. Not only will Pierce join these Boston legends in the TD Garden rafters, he’ll also some day be among their company in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images