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Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics Captain, Is a Hall of Famer and That's "The Truth"

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent INovember 4, 2010

Paul Pierce (Center, holding Finals MVP Award)
Paul Pierce (Center, holding Finals MVP Award)Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce is the NBA's most underrated player, and a certain Hall of Famer after he retires.

Pierce has played his entire 12 year career in Boston, and will go down as the one of the franchise's best players ever, something very difficult to attain given the rich history of the Celtics.

Last night versus the Milwaukee Bucks, Pierce scored his 20,000th career point, becoming only the third Celtics player to score that many points while playing their entire career in Boston.

After the Celtics came back in the fourth quarter to force overtime, Pierce stepped to the free throw line in the extra period to give the Celtics the lead for good, making history in the process.

As he made his first free throw attempt, the TD Garden erupted with appreciation for the best player Celtics fans have been privileged to watch the last 20 years.

After a timeout, Pierce and the Celtics walked to the sideline, where Pierce got a proper standing ovation, as the PA announcer explained Pierce's historic accomplishment.

In Boston, we know how good Paul Pierce is, but unfortunately the rest of the NBA does not.

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An outstanding all around player with few weaknesses, Pierce is still not given the credit he deserves for his amazing career.

In 2007, when future Hall of Famers Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett joined Pierce in Boston to win a championship that had eluded them, Pierce took his game to new heights.

During the 2008 season, Pierce re-invented his game, and became a much better defender and a better leader. The season culminated with a Game Six rout at home in the NBA Finals, as the Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers and Pierce was named MVP of the series.

After the game last night's win, Pierce spoke to the media and admitted this moment did not seem possible just a few seasons ago. Before the Celtics acquired Allen and Garnett in the summer of 2007, Pierce was very unhappy in Boston, and wondered if leaving Boston would help his career.

Pierce joins NBA and Celtics legends John Havlicek and Larry Bird as the only Celtics players to score 20,000 points while spending their entire career in Boston, but Paul has accomplished the feat under much more difficult circumstances.

While Bird and Havlicek played on championship caliber teams almost their entire careers, Pierce has had to endure the burden of being the best player on a bad team.

For the majority of Pierce's tenure in Boston, the Celtics have been a bad team. Pierce is a career 22.5 ppg scorer, while adding career averages of 6.1 rpg, and 3.8 apg. 

Pierce is a "scorer" in every sense of the word. He is an amazing shooter from every angle, whether it be from three point land, mid range or driving to the basket.

Few players in the NBA can create their own shot as well as Pierce, who at age 33, still has plenty to give to the Celtics.

Pierce has also built a reputation as a clutch player, and a guy you can trust in the final seconds of an important game. Pierce has hit numerous game winners in his career in the regular season and the playoffs.

Paul Pierce has been one of the best NBA players of the last 20 years, and it's time we give him the recognition he deserves. Few players become better with age, but Pierce has shown a dedication to improve with each season, no matter how much older he feels.

Pierce's career has been a roller coaster ride with many unexpected twists and turns. On draft day, he was considered one of the best prospects, yet fell to the Celtics at No. 10 in the 1998 NBA Draft.

Shortly after entering the NBA, Pierce was stabbed multiple times in 2000 at a club, but was able to recover and score over 25 ppg during the 2001 season.

Paul Pierce is a Hall of Fame NBA player, and one of the best Celtics players ever. His place in history has yet to be finished, but we have not applauded him enough for what he's done so far.

For Pierce, he has no problem proving his doubters wrong, and battling hardships that would ruin the career of many players. 

Pierce has endured many struggles in his NBA career, but again and again he has proved no challenge is too difficult for "The Truth."

Nicholas Goss is a Bleacher Report intern and sports writer for Suffolk University's newspaper, the Suffolk Journal. Follow Nick on Twitter, @nwgoss

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