I don’t want to get into the actual game yesterday. Paul Pierce and all of us Celtics fans know that the Celtics forgot to show up.
Yes, yesterday was a big matchup and I expected more. Still, yesterday was all about Paul Pierce.
The number 34 went into the Garden rafters forever and it was just a surreal scene to watch. In the rich history that is the Boston Celtics, people of my generation have never seen something like this before. A lot of my generation is way too young.
Yesterday’s ceremony was exactly what I wanted it to be. It was the perfect ode to Paul.
Paul Pierce: The Constant
So many times in Paul Pierce’s career he could have left for a better situation. Lest we forget that the Celtics were absolute garbage for many years of Paul Pierce’s time in Boston.
He continued to stick it out. All growing up all I knew was Paul Pierce and the number 34 jersey he wore every single night.
Every single game I could count on the slow stutter step-back followed by the up-fake to draw contact for an and-one. There was never a moment too big for Paul Pierce and he showed up time and time again.
Opposing fans trash Pierce all the time for never being this superior athlete who brought the house down like LeBron, Kobe, etc… Still, if there was ever a time where Paul had to square off against an all-time great, he never backed down from the challenge.
The 2008 Playoff Run
I can pick out so many moments from Paul Pierce’s career that gave me life. Still, it’s the entire run to a title in 2008 that I still think about often.
It’s odd because, in this city where we have all been able to enjoy so many championships, the 2008 NBA title is the one that sticks with me the most. I know how asinine that is considering all the Super Bowls with the Patriots.
Still, I am what I am.
I was in 8th grade during that title run. I watched Paul Pierce stare down the barrel at LeBron James in game 7 and he never once flinched. If you remember that game, they shot off fireworks in the Garden like morons and the game was played with smoke swirling around the court. It was awesome.
41 points for Pierce in that game, and then he would beat Kobe Bryant in the NBA Finals two weeks later.
That’s heroic right there. Not just for Pierce but for the entire team to run through the gauntlet, they ran through is incredible.
I cannot remember a better feeling than watching Paul hoist the MVP trophy standing on a platform at the center of the Garden in 2008.
Boston Is Home
Paul Pierce the Inglewood California kid. Growing up a Laker fan and getting drafted by the Boston Celtics. It had to have made him sick to his stomach at the time.
Now he can’t imagine a scenario where he doesn’t call Boston home. This sticks out to me the most. Most professional athletes play the card well that they love their team’s city. The PR blitz of “I love you all!” is laid on so thick these days.
Paul Pierce though? He means it. He loves this city because he knows how it works.
If you give it all for the city of Boston, the city will give it all right back to you. Are we obnoxious? You bet. Do we love our sport’s heroes more than many things we care to admit? Absolutely.
Pierce always understood that, and his love for the city of Boston is always something I’ll admire.
Everything from last night (outside the game) was perfect. Paul deserves it.
Salute to you Truth.