Paul Pierce is leaving the NBA on his own terms — in more ways than one.
The legendary forward followed through on his promise to retire as a Boston Celtic on Monday, signing a one-day contract with the C’s before ending his historic NBA career.
But for all of the emotion of the day, Pierce still managed to have a little fun. According to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Pierce showed up at the Celtics’ practice facility in Waltham, Mass., wearing a throwback T-shirt from his hometown of Inglewood, Calif. — and a pair of Brooklyn Nets basketball shorts.
“Hey Danny, see this?” Pierce then yelled at Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, per ESPN.com. “This is where you sent me!”
Yup, he went there. Ainge did, in fact, trade Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets in 2013, ending any possibility of “The Truth” spending his entire career in Boston. In a way, though, Pierce leaving town was an excellent parting gift — Brooklyn sent the Celtics a wealth of first-round draft picks that the team still is benefiting from to this day, and that trade is part of the reason why Ainge and Co. are in such excellent position entering the 2017-18 season.
In case you’re wondering, Pierce was just messing with Ainge; he quickly put on a green Celtics T-shirt before inking the special one-day contract.
In fact, Pierce even hoisted up a few jumpers wearing a pair of the old custom Nike sneakers he used in Boston, which an equipment staffer had kept around “just in case,” according to The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. Pierce then autographed the shoes and had the C’s auction them off for charity.
Now, that’s how you go out in style.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images
June 4, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; ESPN broadcaster Paul Pierce before game two of the 2017 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 132-113. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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