Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Robert Parish: Paul Pierce best offensive player in Boston Celtics history

Robert Parish: Paul Pierce best offensive player in Boston Celtics history

Pierce will be the 22nd Celtics player to have his jersey hanging in the rafters of TD Garden. "I think Havlicek and Larry and Paul were probably the best offensive players that the Celtics ever had".

The Celtics gave Pierce several gifts, including a replica banner of his retired number, a piece of the parquet floor etched with some of his career highlights, and a custom watch.

While the game got off to a promising start for the Cavaliers, it got off to a better one for the Celtics.

A video montage written by Sean Grande and narrated by Tommy Heinsohn brought Pierce to tears.

"Celtic pride will always be with me and my family".

"I know the guys that are here are very excited about this opportunity", James said.

Pierce was celebrated throughout Boston's blowout loss to the Cavaliers. That's a pretty big deal, big enough for former teammates Kevin Garnett and the still active Rajon Rondo to come out and show their old teammate respect, in addition to former coach Doc Rivers, who delivered a speech prior to opening tip. The Boston Celtics have split their last eight home games. "Paul could have done that", Rivers said. Yet he stayed and it worked out for him. "And I think Paul would top that list in my opinion".

Pierce and James had many memorable playoff battles, including Pierce going on to win the NBA Finals after scoring 41 points in Game 7 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals to eliminate the Cavaliers despite 45 points from James.

As the Cavaliers opened a 27-point lead midway through the fourth, the crowd began chanting, "We want Paul Pierce!".

The Celtics held the dinner to honor Pierce a day before they retire his No. 34 jersey.

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