With Boston trailing by over 20 points to Cleveland in the fourth quarter, the home crowd started multiple "We want Paul Pierce" chants - an homage to the former Celtics forward who had taken down LeBron James and company in the 2008 and 2010 postseasons.
Along with having his number retired, Pierce also received a framed replica of the banner that his No. 34 will be added to, a Rolex watch, a piece of the Celtics' parquet floor and a stained-glass backboard adorned with his number. Cedric Maxwell was the last player to receive the accolade, when Boston retired his jersey in December 2003.
"Words can't even describe it right now", Pierce told reporters on the eve of the ceremony.
"He's like guys people predicted us to win the Championship, the following year we got it, he's like no this year", Pierce said.More news: With extraordinary political optics, Winter Olympics begin
"I think Paul tops that list, in my opinion".
"I just feel like Paul was more creative". During stoppages in game action, the Celtics ran a series of videos celebrating Pierce's basketball journey from Inglewood High to the University of Kansas to the Celtics.
Among those who celebrated Pierce's career as a Celtic was Doc Rivers, who was the coach of the Boston team that won the 2008 National Basketball Association championship.
Pierce will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2020. "That'll be enough. That would be enough for me".More news: Rand Paul Triggers Overnight Government Shutdown
A 10-time all-star and MVP of the 2008 NBA Finals, Pierce's statistics rank him among the very best to ever wear the iconic green and white of the Celtics. He tops the Celtics' all-time lists in 3-pointers made (1,823), free throws (6,434) and steals (1,583). "The time we put a $100 in the ceiling and said we're going to be back, that happened".
"Part of trash-talking is backing it up".
"I got emotional when I talked about my kids because, for them to just sit here, they didn't" get a chance to see most of my career", said Pierce. "You always hear about the Celtics lore, but you didn't get it if you weren't in it".More news: Pence: Allies remain united on N. Korea
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