X

Paul Pierce's No. 34 Boston Celtics Jersey to Be Retired

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2017

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (34) reacts in the second half of Game 2 of their first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the New York Knicks in New York, Tuesday, April 23, 2013.  The Knicks defeated the Celtics  87-71 to go up 2-0 in their series. .(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck confirmed Monday in an interview on the Toucher & Rich show that Paul Pierce's No. 34 will be retired by the team.

Pierce, 39, played his first 15 NBA seasons in Boston. He ranks second on the team's all-time scoring list, made 10 All-Star games and won the 2008 NBA Finals MVP.

A trade to Brooklyn before the 2013-14 season set off a journeyman stage in his career, which saw Pierce play for three franchises in his final four years. He finished his career with the Los Angeles Clippers over the 

The Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs Sunday by the Utah Jazz. Pierce had six points in 22 minutes in his final game.

Grousbeck said the Celtics have not had direct contact with Pierce because he was under contract with the Clippers.

"There have been conversations in general by people close to him," Grousbeck said, per CBS Boston. "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 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."

Pierce struggled with limited playing time throughout the 2016-17 season but did have one final memorable moment in Boston. He played five minutes in the Clippers' 107-102 loss to Boston on Feb. 5 but was able to knock down a three in the last minute—with the Garden erupting as if he just hit a game-winner in the Finals. As he left the court, Pierce kissed the Celtics logo at center court.

"I knew I wanted to give Lucky one last kiss," Pierce told reporters. "Lucky's been through it all with me, the ups and downs. He helped me out on a couple of occasions."

Odds are Pierce will eventually be joined in Boston jersey retirement by Kevin Garnett, who stepped away from basketball after 21 seasons in 2016.