Paul Pierce joins Celtics legends in the rafters
Kevin Crompton – Sports Editor
After Sunday’s game concluded between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers in TD Bank Garden, former Celtics small forward Paul Pierce was honored as his jersey number, 34, was retired. Pierce became the 22nd Celtic to have his number retired and hung on a banner in the rafters of TD Bank Garden. Pierce gave an emotional speech thanking teammates, coaches, friends, family and many others who helped him achieve success in the NBA, and ultimately result in his recognition as one of the best Celtics to ever don the iconic green and white.
According to former Celtic Robert Parish, whose 00-jersey number also hangs in the rafters, Pierce was a better offensive player than Larry Bird, who is widely regarded as one of the best NBA players in history. Parish, who played alongside of Bird, said that Pierce was more creative in his game which is a reason he believes him to be a better scorer than Bird.
From a number stand point, Bird has the upper hand on career average points with 24.6 points per game; Pierce, 21.8. However, despite that, it is always hard to argue against factual numbers; there is more to thoroughly evaluating a player and putting a crown on the more deserving. Basketball and Celtics fans will debate over who was the better Celtic and answers will likely be influenced by the generation the fan belongs to whether that be the 1980’s era when Bird helped Boston win three NBA titles, or the first decade of the 2000s era when Pierce led the Celtics in raising their first championship banner in 22 years. One thing that will not be debated upon is that Pierce is well deserving of the highly coveted honor that jersey retirement is and that The Truth’s number 34, deserves to be enshrined in the building home to one of the most historic franchises in sports history.
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