Will Paul Pierce Pass Larry Bird on Celtics’ All-Time Scoring List?


November 4, 2010

Will Paul Pierce Pass Larry Bird on Celtics' All-Time Scoring List? There was a time not too long ago when Paul Pierce was at a career crossroads.

Drafted by the Celtics, becoming a star with the Celtics and eventually becoming a captain for the Celtics, Pierce was a winner on a losing team. In the spring of '07, fresh off a 24-58 season in which he was limited to just 47 games, and after the team lost out on its chance to land Kevin Durant or Greg Oden in the draft, many thought the Celtics would trade Pierce to a contender out of respect.

Instead, Danny Ainge assembled one of the best teams in Celtics history, and a few months later, Pierce was raising his Finals MVP trophy over his head on the Garden floor.

It was and likely will be the defining moment of his career, but on Wednesday night, he reached an important milestone in Celtics' history.

Though he was already ranked third on the all-time Celtics' scoring list, he reached the shiny number of 20,000 in overtime. It was a bonus that he did so on a free throw, giving him time to soak in the moment.

Now, at 33 years old, Pierce is just 1,786 points behind Larry Bird on that list. Will Pierce catch Bird to take over the No. 2 spot?

He definitely has a good chance. He's averaged more than 1,600 points per season in his career, and even though that number dropped to 1,296 last season, the captain has a few more years left in him.

Then again, at 33, nothing is guaranteed — you can look at Bird for that point. A heel injury and a bad back limited Bird to just six games in the 1988-89 season, when he was 31 and 32 years old. After that, Bird went from scoring roughly 2,000 points per season to just 1,300 in his final three years.

Injuries, age and a whole slew of other problems can slow a player down at the end of his career. Do you think Pierce will eclipse Bird's scoring mark?

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