Paul Pierce told Celtics' GM Danny Ainge to scrap Isaiah Thomas' tribute video
What's the story?
Boston Celtics great Paul Pierce recently spoke with ESPN's Jackie MacMullan and Chris Forsberg regarding his upcoming number retirement ceremony on 11 February. The "elephant in the room" of a tribute video for Isaiah Thomas was the main topic discussed.
In case you didn't know...
Paul Pierce's #34 will be the 22nd number retired in the history of the Boston Celtics. Bob Cousey's #14 and Ed Macauley's #22 were the first numbers retired in 1963; while Cedric Maxwell's #31 was the last Celtic number to be retired in 2003.
The heart of the matter
Celtics president Danny Ainge attempted to sell Pierce on a compromise to allow a tribute video for Thomas to be played on the same night as his number being retired, but Pierce was firm on not allowing it because Thomas missed his chance in January and "that's that."
Thomas passed up the first tribute planned in January because he was just coming off of injury and his family wasn't there. Pierce would expand on his stance with the quote below:
"He had a shot to be honored. You came to Boston. Whether you are playing or not, you should have had your tribute then. I just don't see how, if someone is having a jersey retirement, they're going to be running other tributes for other players. Danny tried to sell me on it, but I told him, 'He had a shot, Danny, and he punked you on it. He pretty much dictated everything.' They let it happen because they felt sorry how (the trade to Cleveland) went down. It's guilt. That's what it is."
Coincidentally, Thomas posted a tweet on Tuesday thanking the Celtics for their offer of a video tribute, and that the night should belong to Paul Pierce. Take a look at his tweet below:
With Isaiah Thomas publically asking the Celtics to concentrate on The Truth's jersey retirement, Paul Pierce may finally get his wish fulfilled.
The Boston Celtics (34-11) continue to lead the Eastern Conference and will take on the Philadelphia 76ers (20-20) next on Thursday evening, a game that will air live nationally on TNT. Thomas' Cavaliers (26-17) have been struggling as of late with a 2-8 record in their last 10 games and look to change their fortunes on Thursday against the Orlando Magic (13-31).
Thomas played two full years as a starter with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are my team, and while I'm happy that he helped to turn the team around, I don't think he did enough in Boston to elicit a tribute video.
I don't blame Pierce at all for not wanting to share the spotlight. He was a Celtic for nearly all of his 19-year career. The contribution of Thomas to the team is pale in comparison.