It’s incredibly difficult to have your jersey retired by any organization, but the Celtics might be the most prestigious organization in the NBA. Before Sunday, only 23 players in Celtics’ history had their numbers retired.
And yet, Paul Pierce managed to get his number retired too. No one will ever wear number 34 in Boston again and it’s because of how much the former Celtics forward achieved while in uniform.
The Celtics may have been soundly beaten by the Cavaliers before the ceremony, but that didn’t make Pierce’s day any less special for him. This was his day and it was filled with special moments surrounding him. Here are our favorites.
Paul Pierce came to tears when talking about his kids
Pierce wanted to recognize everyone who affected him along his journey. He talked about former coaches, teammates, an uncle, and even his mom without tearing up. But once he started talking about his children the waterworks turned on.
“I tried as long as I could,” Pierce said about holding his tears back. He did a good job, too. But, in the end, it’s the kids that always get you.
Speaking of kids, Pierce’s son Prince stole the show
Kids are always adorable, but Pierce’s son took things to a new level with these faces while his dad was being interviewed in the middle of a game.
I literally am just replaying the video and not listening to anything Paul Pierce says. Prince is golden.
Then Prince did it again!
He’s just too good. While his dad was tearing up with the spotlight on him, Prince put his Paul Pierce hat on a Celtics championship trophy.
Then, after that, he helped his dad hang his jersey up in the rafters.
Prince is the real winner here tonight. Hang his jersey up, too.
Pierce got a really good tribute video from the Celtics
The Captain and The Truth.
Kevin Garnett showed up and his hoodie defied gravity again
Garnett didn’t have a long stint in Boston with Pierce, but the two will go down as one of the best duos in Celtics’ history. So it was great to see Garnett in the building paying homage to one of his former teammates and best friends.
He recorded the whole darn thing from his phone like a proud dad.
The best part, though? His hoodie was on the side of his head — somehow.
Pierce’s disappointment in the Celtics loss became a meme
This isn’t exactly an homage, but this meme is too good not to make this list. While the Celtics were being soundly beaten by the Cavaliers, Pierce had such a somber look on his face. Of course the Internet capitalized on it with some good tweets.
And you already know we couldn’t resist.
But some of these are really good.
Doc Rivers talked about Pierce’s coachability
Rivers had a lot of great things to say about Pierce, but above everything else, how coachable he was in the end may have been his best compliment. Rivers talked about how the two bumped heads, but eventually, he and Pierce found solutions because Pierce was so coachable.
In today’s NBA where stars reign over everything else, how they’re coached sometimes gets lost. But the most successful teams are the ones with the most coachable players year after year, and that’s what Rivers was alluding to here.
The 2008 Celtics got back together
It’s always good to see these guys reunite, whether it’s on Area 21 or wherever. Tonight, they came back to where their journey began in the TD Garden. They were all smiles, too.
Antoine Walker was also in the building
TOINE! If you’re not shimmying right now, you’re doing it wrong.
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