Paul Pierce thinks he knows who the next retired number of the Boston Celtics will belong to.
Pierce said that Kevin Garnett will “without a doubt” see his No. 5 raised to the rafters now that Pierce has had the honor.
“Without a doubt, KG’s number will be [the next one] retired in Boston,” Pierce said, via Chris Forsberg of ESPN. “It’s going to happen.”
Celtics president Danny Ainge seemed to concur, noting that the team has had informal discussions about retiring Garnett’s number. While the decision ultimately lies with ownership, Ainge argued against those who believe Garnett didn’t spend enough time in Boston to earn the honor.
“It was six years of potential championship-caliber teams and All-Star play from KG,” Ainge said. “I think that it was a pretty significant impact he had in those six years.”
It sounds like there’s a way to go on this decision, but it may happen. That said, it’s safe to say that if it does, that’s where the jersey retirements from that team would end given what has gone down with that team since.
Ray Allen posted a lengthy message on social media Tuesday addressing his time with the Celtics and relationship with Paul Pierce.
On Sunday, Pierce had his No. 34 jersey retired by the Celtics. Among those at TD Garden for the festivities were former teammates Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, and Antoine Walker. Doc Rivers was also there. Ray Allen was not, and that became a topic of discussion.
Allen spent part of his Sunday golfing with George Lopez across the country from Boston in Los Angeles. On Monday, Pierce did not appear to be disappointed with Allen’s absence.
On Tuesday, Allen posted a photo of himself and Pierce to his Instagram account. He also included a lengthy caption addressing his time with the Celtics and feelings toward Pierce.
What we did in 2008 was special! Not only by Boston standards but by professional sports standards. The truth is, without any one of us on that team we would’ve never been able to do the unthinkable. Going from last place in one year to winning a championship is unfathomable. But, we did it! WE did it- Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, P.J. Brown, Sam Cassell, Glen Davis, Eddie House, Kendrick Perkins, Scott Pollard, James Posey, Leon Powe, Gabe Pruitt, Brian Scalabrine, Doc, Danny, everyone at the Celtics Organization, our wives, children, families, the Fans in The City of Boston and yes, me. Over the last few years I have been berated, lambasted and had my name smeared. You may not want to hear this, but I will always be a Celtic. (Fact). I will always cherish the bonds that I shared with all of my teammates and the people in the city of Boston. (Truth). We all gave everything we had. We all won and we all raised the 2008 NBA Championship banner together. (Ubuntu) Paul Pierce is the first guy that welcomed Kevin and me with open arms into his atmosphere from day one and we never looked back. Paul and I have spoken about our time together as teammates- going to battle night after night knowing we could count on one another and we have also talked about my decision to leave during free agency- a choice I made for my family. Despite what you may have heard or read or what is rumored- there is nothing but love. Paul and I are more interested in building bridges than putting up walls. To Paul, number 34, Congratulations on having your number raised up to the rafters. I salute you for your commitment to the city of Boston and to us the 2008 NBA Champions #thetruth
The source of animosity between Allen and his former Celtics teammates stemmed from his decision to leave them to join the Miami Heat. Rondo appears to still hold a grudge.
Garnett extended an olive branch to Allen, leaving it up to Allen to respond. He probably should respond more directly.
Whether Ray Allen would attend Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement ceremony was a big topic of discussion prior to Sunday. Allen did not attend the ceremony unlike some of his other former Boston Celtics teammates, and instead shared that he was playing golf. But Pierce says he is not disappointed by that.
Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” Monday that he didn’t have a problem with Allen not making it. However, he was upset that his former teammates Tony Allen and Big Baby Davis didn’t make it:
Pierce seems to say that he has smoothed things over with Allen, who left the Celtics to join the rival Miami Heat. The same cannot be said for Rajon Rondo, who has not forgiven Allen for joining the enemy.
Garnett has said in the past that it’s up to Allen to reach out if he wants to smooth things over.
It may have been Paul Pierce’s big day in Boston, but his son Prince turned out to be the real star of the show.
During an in-game interview between Pierce and ESPN’s Doris Burke, Prince Pierce spent virtually the entire time mugging for the camera as the rest of the interview went on without anyone even noticing.
This is great stuff, and the Pierce family appears to have a little star on their hands. People immediately started to post memes in response.
The NBA is no stranger to adorable children. Add another to the list.
Whether he was invited or not, Ray Allen found something else to do on Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement day.
Allen shared a photo on Instagram Sunday that showed him golfing with friends, including comedian George Lopez. Another member of Allen’s golfing foursome indicated on Instagram that they were playing on a course in Los Angeles, across the country from where Pierce’s retirement ceremony was taking place in Boston.
Allen has been on the outs with his 2008 Celtics teammates because he joined the rival Miami Heat in 2012. His absence Sunday is even more glaring because both Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo were in attendance after not being expected to. Rondo even managed to get time away from the New Orleans Pelicans to make it to the festivities.
The question is whether Allen wasn’t welcome or simply chose not to attend. The latter may be more likely, as Pierce himself has urged his former teammates to let bygones be bygones.
Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement ceremony does not look like it will serve as a reunion for the Boston Celtics’ Big 3.
ESPN’s Marc J. Spears reported on Saturday that Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are not expected to attend Pierce’s jersey retirement ceremony on Sunday.
Rajon Rondo, who was the other star player on the Celtics’ championship team in 2008, will not be there either as his New Orleans Pelicans are on a road trip.
It’s unclear whether Allen, Garnett and Rondo were asked/urged to attend, but it’s understandable why they might not be there. Garnett lives in Los Angeles and keeps pretty busy with his work for TNT. Allen has been on the outs with his former championship team ever since leaving for Miami, but Pierce has been the one asking for that to be rectified.
There’s some other news on this front, too. With Isaiah Thomas being traded to the Lakers, that whole video tribute controversy is now moot.
Boston Celtics all-time great Bill Russell is weighing in on perhaps the strangest controversy involving the team in recent memory.
The 11-time champion commented on Thursday about Paul Pierce’s objections to Isaiah Thomas getting a video tribute from the Celtics on the night of Pierce’s jersey retirement ceremony. Responding to a segment discussing the matter on Kevin Garnett’s “Area 21” show on TNT, Russell defended Pierce, tweeting that the 2008 Finals MVP handled it better than he would have.
Pierce will be getting his jersey retired by the Celtics on Feb. 11 during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thomas, a former Celtic and now a Cav, was scheduled to get his own video tribute on that day as well but, in the wake of Pierce’s protests, has since stated that he longer wants one on the same day.
Many have criticized Pierce over his handling of the situation, but having arguably the greatest Celtic ever in his corner is a heck of an endorsement.
Jalen Rose did not hold back when telling Paul Pierce he thought he was “petty” for the way he handled the whole Isaiah Thomas situation.
Rose and Pierce are both analysts/personalities on ESPN’s NBA coverage and talked Wednesday prior to the network’s coverage of the Lakers-Thunder game. Rose offered his opinion on Pierce telling the Boston Celtics to quash a Thomas video tribute on Feb. 11, which is the same day the team is retiring Pierce’s jersey.
Rose told Pierce to his face he thought he was being “petty” for not sharing the spotlight.
A lot of folks agree with Rose. Thomas receiving a video tribute before the Cavaliers-Celtics game on Feb. 11 probably would not take away much attention from Pierce’s jersey retirement celebration. However, Pierce wants the day to be all about him and does not want to share with Thomas.
At least Pierce has a backer in one of his former teammates, if not one in Rose.
Paul Pierce apparently has won his staring contest with Isaiah Thomas.
The former Celtics guard tweeted on Tuesday that he no longer wants Boston to play a video tribute of him when his new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, visit TD Garden on Feb. 11.
There was a controversy that arose earlier this month over what would happened on Feb. 11. Pierce is set to have his jersey retired by the franchise that day, and he said he didn’t want anything else (like a Thomas tribute) taking attention away from his day.
Thomas had an opportunity to receive a tribute from the Celtics on Jan. 3, but he declined it because he was not playing and he wanted his family to be able to attend so they could enjoy it. It looks like his video tribute will have to wait until another time.
Paul Pierce seems frustrated that a supposed conflict has emerged between him and Isaiah Thomas.
A story that made headlines on Thursday was one about Pierce saying he didn’t want any Thomas video tributes playing during the Cavaliers-Celtics game on Feb. 11. The Celtics will be retiring Pierce’s jersey that night, which will also mark Thomas’ second game back in Boston since being traded to Cleveland.
Here’s what Pierce tweeted Thursday night after seeing that the story had made headlines.
Here’s what Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” that caused the headlines.
“I’m not saying Isaiah shouldn’t get a tribute video … but on Feb. 11, the night I get my jersey retired, I’m not sure I want to look up at the JumboTron and see Isaiah highlights,” Pierce said on ‘The Jump’ Thursday.
Thomas’ return to Boston actually occurred on Wednesday night, but he didn’t play in the game because he is working his way back from a hip injury. Thomas asked for the Celtics to shelve his tribute until February, when he would be playing and his family would be able to attend to appreciate it.
“That’s Pierce’s night. But, like, the video tribute ain’t the whole night,” Thomas said. “I just wanted my family to be here to see it. That’s what it came down to. I wanted to be able to play. And I wanted my family to experience the love and appreciation this city and this organization is going to give me on that night. And when my representatives reached out to these guys, [the Celtics] were all for it. They agreed on it.”
The Celtics are now in a predicament, though GM Danny Ainge seemed to indicate they would honor both players, while keeping the focus mostly on Pierce.
“I think Paul said it best: He’s going to be the appetizer, the main course and the dessert. I thought that was pretty funny,” Ainge told the “Toucher and Rich” program. “I think it won’t interfere with Paul. And Paul understands that, everybody understands that. It’ll be a great game and a great moment. And Isaiah deserves it, in our minds.”
Based on Pierce’s comments Thursday, it seems he might be bothered by a Thomas tribute. This may not be so easy for the Celtics to resolve. They had better make sure Pierce is 100 percent OK with the Thomas tribute before doing it. The last thing they need is for Pierce to have yet another Celtics-related beef.