Bill Russell Congratulates Paul Pierce Before Celtics Jersey Retirement

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics receives some words of encouragement from NBA Legend Bill Russell before the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Paul Pierce received praise from another Boston Celtics legend as he prepares to have his jersey retired during Boston's game Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bill Russell shared a video on Twitter in which he congratulated Pierce for the honor:

Robert Parish, who played 14 seasons with the Celtics and had his jersey retired in 1998, spoke highly of Pierce as well, calling him the best offensive player in franchise history, per Celtics Wire's Jared Weiss:

Pierce spent his first 15 seasons in Boston, and his 1,102 games with the Celtics are third for the franchise behind John Havlicek (1,270) and Parish (1,106). Pierce's 24,021 points also put him in second behind Havlicek (26,395).

Pierce will be the 22nd Celtics player to have his jersey hanging in the rafters of TD Garden. Cedric Maxwell was the last player to receive the accolade, when Boston retired his jersey in December 2003.

Enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will likely be the next step for Pierce. Starting with the 2018 Hall of Fame class, players can how be enshrined three full seasons after they retired, so Pierce will be eligible in 2021.

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