Paul Pierce: One Last Time

Paul Pierce’s last game in Boston was unforgettable. “The Truth” had nothing but good things to say about Celtics fans.

Paul Pierce played his final game at TD Garden Sunday afternoon. Pierce called Boston home from 1998-2013. He took the time to tour the city on Saturday, visiting all the iconic spots, and of course, delving into some clam chowder. Pierce is one of the most beloved sports figures in Boston sports history, and the crowd showered him with love and affection. Pierce wanted to soak in every last drop of his moment on Sunday. He even got the nod to start, and his name was announced like good old times.

via ESPN:

“It was just the showering of love in here, man,” Pierce said of becoming emotional. “I don’t get an every-arena shower of love like Kobe [Bryant] did in his farewell tour, so this was like my last goodbye, not only for the Celtics but pretty much to the NBA. This is like my appreciation day, I felt like — a national television game right here [18] years ago started my first game on Feb. 5, 1999 [and] ended off Feb. 5, 2017. All those things running through your mind.”

“The love they were able to give me, and I’m like, ‘This is it.’ That’s all I was thinking is this is my last time on this floor getting the opportunity to run up and down the floor. The next time I do it, I’ll probably be in an old man’s league that plays before the games. You know those scrimmage games they play before the game at 3 o’clock? But just to be able to be out here as a player — everywhere you look you saw No. 34 jerseys. Everywhere I looked I saw Pierce shirts, posters. It was just beautiful to watch and be a part of this and be a part of the Celtics franchise.”

Although only playing five total minutes in the game, he drained a 3-pointer near the end of the fourth that sent the crowd into a frenzy. The crowd practically forced Doc Rivers to put Pierce back into the game after endless chants yelling “Paul Pierce”. It was the perfect way to end his career at TD Garden.

via NESN:

“Him making that shot just, that’s just — I don’t know what the heck that is,” Rivers said after the game. “That only happens here — I don’t know who can sit that long and walk in on the floor and make a shot.”

Rivers always says people don’t get Boston, you simply have to be a part of it to get it. The people are special, and they love their sports teams and athletes. They honor them with grace and gratitude, and are always first class. Rivers knows this from firsthand experience, as he was welcomed with open arms for his first game back at TD Garden in 2013.

Just like Rivers, Pierce was full of emotion. Pierce’s last game at TD Garden will go down as one of the greatest moments in Celtics history. The connection Pierce had with the people of Boston was unique, and words simply cannot do it justice. Pierce has happily handed off the torch to Isaiah Thomas.

via The Boston Globe:

“I told him I’m proud of what he’s been able to do for this organization,” Pierce said Sunday, before the Celtics’ 107-102 win over the Clippers. “This city will get behind you as long as you continue to work hard and compete at a high level and soak it all up. There’s no place like this place in the NBA. It’s kind of what we talked about. And I said, I told him, ‘Enjoy it. Enjoy every moment.’ ”

Paul Pierce leaves behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. He delivered the Celtics a championship in 2008 and was the MVP of the Finals. A genuine person on and off the court, Boston will be forever grateful for The Captain and The Truth.

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