BOSTON (CBS) — If there was any doubt, Wyc Grousbeck confirmed Monday morning on Toucher & Rich that we’ll never see another Celtics player don the No. 34 jersey.
That will forever belong to Paul Pierce, whose 19-year NBA career came to an end Sunday afternoon when the L.A. Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs. Pierce spent 15 great seasons with the Celtics, leading the team to their 17th NBA Championship in franchise history in 2008, earning NBA Finals MVP honors in Boston’s six-game series win over the L.A. Lakers.
Celtics CEO Grousbeck discussed Pierce’s incredible run in Boston, and said he was a special player and person.
A lot more than nicknaming me and others. We were just one of the guys with Paul. He was warmhearted and talked to you every day if he saw you. That’s Paul, a warming personality,” he said. “We went through ups and downs, him stripping off his jersey in [Indiana]. He stuck with us and we built a team around him, and that was fun.”
“The Truth” will be back in the Celtics organization soon enough, though his next role with the team has not been determined just yet.
“There have been conversations in general by people close to him,” said Grousbeck. “But we haven’t been allowed to talk directly to Paul while he’s been playing. He’s made it clear he’ll always feel like a Celtic and this is his basketball home. I think he wants to come back. We’re a little busy right now, thank goodness, and we’ll speak to him when the time is right.
“I’d like to get Danny [Ainge] and Brad [Stevens’] input on it the this offseason, and see what Paul would like to do. But he’s a finals MVP, and the last player to wear No. 34 for us.”