WATCH: Celtics retire number 34 for Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce is finally among the Celtic Legends, where he belongs.

After the game between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics decided to raise Pierce’s number 34 jersey, joining the 22 other jersey numbers that no other Boston player can use ever again.

The TD Garden hosted several Celtic legends and former superstars, all of whom were in attendance to honor Pierce. In attendance were Robert Parish, Cedric Maxwell, Tom “Satch” Sanders and Antoine Walker. Pierce with Celtic owner Wyc Grousbeck and his family. Teammates in the 2008 championship run, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Doc Rivers all joined him to watch the game before the ceremony.

During the game, the Celtics showed a highlight reel of Pierce dating all the way to his high school days in California and his time with the Kansas Jayhawks.

After the game, Pierce entered the court through the newly renamed Paul Pierce Payers’ Tunnel. The team said the tunnel, featuring Pierce’s signature, will serve as a reminder to current and future players of what “being a Celtic” means.

Grousbeck opened the ceremonies recalling big moments in Pierce’s career as a Celtic including when he was drafted and when the won the championship. He was then presented with all the ceremonial gifts for his jersey retirement including a replica of the banner, a piece of the iconic parquet floor and a stained glass backboard with his number.

There were surprise congratulatory messages from fans, former NBA superstars including Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Kevin McHale, Magic Johnson and his family. Doc Rivers then took the floor and spoke about what Pierce meant to the Celtics.

“I just think it always cements it. When you win a title you become a main man, and that made Paul,” Rivers said. “He would have had this night regardless of winning the title, but winning the title makes this day pretty special.”

Pierce got emotional when it was his turn to speak to the Boston fans he played for for 15 years. Pierce said it best when he explained what it meant for him to be a Celtic

“I did the trifecta,” Pierce said. “I left a legacy. I had my high school jersey retired. My college jersey retired. But there’s no greater honor than having your NBA jersey retired for the Boston Celtics.”

Watch the entire jersey retirement ceremony here:

Photo from USA Today

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