Storyline: Paul Pierce Retirement

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The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed 10-time NBA All-Star and 19-year veteran Paul Pierce to a contract, enabling him to retire as a member of the organization with which he spent his first 15 NBA seasons. “We’re honored that Paul has chosen to retire as a Celtic. He is among the very best Celtics – a champion on and off the court,” said Celtics governor and managing partner Wyc Grousbeck. “We congratulate Paul on a Hall of Fame career, and look forward to seeing his number raised to the rafters of TD Garden.”

Add rapper Kendrick Lamar to the list of people who have sent messages of respect to Paul Pierce, whose 19-year NBA career came to an end a couple weeks ago when the Clippers were knocked out of the playoffs by the Jazz. The Clippers shared a heartfelt video that Lamar narrated on Thursday. It thanks Pierce for inspiring the city of Los Angeles as The Heart Part 4 instrumental plays in the background.

If there was any doubt, Wyc Grousbeck confirmed Monday morning on Toucher & Rich that we’ll never see another Celtics player don the No. 34 jersey. That will forever belong to Paul Pierce, whose 19-year NBA career came to an end Sunday afternoon when the L.A. Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs. Pierce spent 15 great seasons with the Celtics, leading the team to their 17th NBA Championship in franchise history in 2008, earning NBA Finals MVP honors in Boston’s six-game series win over the L.A. Lakers.

“There have been conversations in general by people close to him,” said Grousbeck. “But we haven’t been allowed to talk directly to Paul while he’s been playing. He’s made it clear he’ll always feel like a Celtic and this is his basketball home. I think he wants to come back. We’re a little busy right now, thank goodness, and we’ll speak to him when the time is right. “I’d like to get Danny [Ainge] and Brad [Stevens’] input on it the this offseason, and see what Paul would like to do. But he’s a finals MVP, and the last player to wear No. 34 for us.”

Paul Pierce: THANKU TO ALL MY NBA BROTHERS AND SISTERS ASSOCIATED WITH THE GAME A GAME IVE LOVED MY WHOLE LIFE BUT NOW TEADY FOR A NEW CHAPTER STAY TUNED I’d like to thank the fans media members who followed me u made he who I am as a player the Poeple who loved and the people who hated me TY. I gave this game all a had my whole life I’m thankful for that also to my family who seen it all from the beginning thanku. To my my brothers Steve and Jamal Hosey u guys where my inspiration my Mom I looked at all ur hard work for us to keep food on the table. And ur hard work and determination my heart my work ethic I got that from u Thanku.

Paul Pierce: To all the coaches who helped me along this journey coach Jose smith coach Stevenson Pat Roy Roy Williams Mike Lewis Thad Mcgrew Heroldjones. I kno there’s so many other people I’m missing when u go on a journey this long sometimes u forget some people who helped but thanku. Doc coach Obrian Rick Patino. Julie Pierce Prianna , Jazzy j Prince thanku. Oh Yeah city of Inglewood Stand Up !!! How can I forget my City. Can’t leave my Boston fans out Thanku the ride was unreal 😍😍😍😍love y’all forever.

Once the game appeared in check for the Clippers, “Paul Pierce” chants burst sporadically in the stadium, as fans pined for one last look at Pierce playing his former club. Pierce has not played since Feb. 5 in Boston, where he started, kissed the Celtics logo at center court, played five minutes and hit a picturesque three to end the game, which Doc Rivers described as “perfect.” As hard as the fans the fans tried, Rivers did not oblige, keeping Pierce on the bench. “I was trying to win,” Rivers said. “Paul understands. How many tributes do you get?”

Paul Pierce on life after basketball: “I’ve given it a little thought. I’ve thought about maybe still being involved in the game of basketball in some kind of way, whether it be upper management. I’m not sure about coaching yet, coaching is still a grind. When you’re coming off a 19-year grind you want to spend a little time with your family, so I’m not so sure about that. I’ve thought about doing some broadcast stuff, I’ve done that in the past. As you know, I did the Finals last year. There’s some things in the back of my mind that I’ll consider. I’m just enjoying this last year for right now then I’ll jump into that.”

“Outside of Boston, (Toronto) is my favorite place to play,” Pierce told theScore in Air Canada Centre’s visiting locker room, still giggling. Though he later admitted to enjoying trolling Raptors fans and getting a laugh out of them over the last number of years, Pierce ensured this was no joking matter, as he shifted to a more serious tone for emphasis. “No, truthfully. These fans are very passionate about the sport. This is one of my favorite places, even though our relationship is the way it is.” “The way it is” has seen Pierce accumulate more boos in Toronto than perhaps any player not named Carter, McGrady, or Bosh.

“They still respect what I’ve done,” Pierce said of the boos and somewhat comedic battles he’s enjoyed with Raptors fans. “They’re knowledgeable fans. It’s just a respect thing with the fans here. When you get booed in a road arena, they recognize you – that’s respect. I understand what it is. A lot of players don’t get booed. That’s just the respect factor coming in. They don’t like the things you’ve done (to their team), but they respect you.”

Paul Pierce retiring a Celtic?

Rivers said that when Pierce does decide to hang ’em up, he and the Celtics brass have already talked about letting “The Truth” return home to where it all began and retire as a Celtic on a one-day contract. “I think it’s important,” Rivers told reporters. “I think we have to do that. And I think we will. Danny [Ainge] and Mike [Zarren], we’ve already talked. The day he retires he’s going to retire a Celtic. He has to. Paul’s a Celtic. So when he retires he’s got to retire as a Celtic. I don’t think anyone disagrees with me.”

Chris Forsberg: Doc Rivers on whether he thinks Paul Pierce will retire: “Depends on the day I talk to him. Paul has had the summer, he’s gone back and forth. I think he has a right to do that. I really do. And so, you know, Paul didn’t have the best year last year. I don’t think he wants to go out that way, so I think that’s why he’s working to try to come back. But he still may change his mind next week. So we just have to wait. I told him if I see him at training camp, I’m assuming he’s playing.”

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said his team has plans in place to allow Paul Pierce to retire as a member of the Boston Celtics if Pierce elects to end his playing days this summer. During an appearance on The Vertical podcast, Rivers said he believes Pierce hasn’t made up his mind about his future. “If Paul decides to retire, then we’re going to make sure that Boston picks him up for one day and he retires a Celtic, because that’s what he should retire as,” Rivers said during the podcast released Thursday. “So we have all that in place. We just don’t know what he’s going to do.”

Doc Rivers plans to let Paul Pierce retire as a member of the Boston Celtics if the star decides to end his distinguished career this summer. “If Paul decides to retire then we’re going to make sure that Boston picks him up for one day and he retires a Celtic because that’s what he should retire as,” Rivers said during an episode of The Vertical podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski, which was released early Thursday. “So we have all that in place. We just don’t know what he’s going to do.”

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