Initially, there was a lot of hoopla in the lead-up to Paul Pierce‘s jersey retirement ceremony at TD Garden on Sunday. The Celtics had originally planned to honor both Pierce and Isaiah Thomas, who was set to return to Boston as a member of the Cavs, but Pierce balked at that notion, telling the organization that he’d prefer not to share the spotlight with Thomas, which earned him some light-hearted flak from his broadcast partners at NBA Countdown.
Boston eventually acquiesced, but it ended up being a moot point after last week’s blockbuster deal that sent Thomas to the Lakers at the trade deadline. So on Sunday, the Truth had the moment all to himself, with head coach Doc Rivers, along with Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, and several other former teammates on hand to celebrate as the franchise raised his jersey to the rafters where it will hang immortal alongside a bevy of other Celtics legends.
The festivities started with an epic 5-minute tribute video, which set the table for the lengthy ceremony and explained why it wasn’t held at halftime.