The Celtics shared the news Friday on social media:
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 18, 2017
Pierce retired as a member of the Boston organization in July after signing a ceremonial contract to mark the end of his 19-year NBA career. The forward, who also played for the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers, said the decision was a no-brainer.
“It’s an honor to have this opportunity to once again call myself a Boston Celtic,” he said. “The organization and city took me in and made me one of their own, and I couldn’t imagine ending my career any other way. I’m a Celtic for life.”
The 39-year-old University of Kansas product was selected by the Celtics with the 10th overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft. He led the storied team to its only championship since 1986 in 2008, when he was named NBA Finals MVP, and earned 10 All-Star Game nods in 15 years in Boston.
Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe passed along comments Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca made about the longtime star’s jersey retirement.
“It’s going to be fantastic,” Pagliuca said. “For our era, the most recent era, he embodied the Celtics’ leadership, the Celtics’ brand and was the MVP of the championship team. So it’s going to be fantastic to see that happen.”
In all, Pierce averaged 21.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.4 steals across 1,102 regular-season games with the Celtics. He also made 136 postseason appearances for Boston, checking in at 20.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in the playoffs.
Now he’s set to become the 22nd Celtic with his jersey in the rafters, joining the likes of Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Kevin McHale and Bob Cousy.