Paul Pierce declares Doc Rivers a 'Semi-Prophet'

NBA Power Rankings

NBA Power Rankings

Pierce's No. 34 is the 22nd number retired by the Boston Celtics organization.

A reunion of sorts of the 2007-08 Celtics was held a year ago, when Pierce, Garnett, Rondo and center Kendrick Perkins appeared together on a "Room 21" segment on "The NBA on TNT". Pierce smiled as Bryant said in his message that Pierce made "all the Celtics legends proud". "It just helps me realize the impact I was able to have and the respect that I think I was given throughout the course of my career". "If I never make the Hall of Fame or anything, to go up in the rafters as a retired number for the Celtics - that's just enough. That'll be enough. That would be enough for me". "When you're forever with the Celtics, you're forever". Everyone came out for the occasion, including former teammates Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo.

The No. 10 pick from the 1998 draft spent the first 15 years of his career in Boston and won the 2008 Finals MVP, after leading the Celtics to their league-record 17th championship by beating the Lakers in six games. "Paul could have done that", Rivers said. He began to cry as he thanked his wife and children, prompting the crowd to break into a standing ovation. "When you start talking about the kids you get emotional".

The jersey retirement ceremony was held at the halftime of Boston's game against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. The team said it hopes the designation will, "will serve as a reminder to all current and future players of what being a Celtic truly means".

Boston's Kyrie Irving gave Pierce a hug before the game. Meanwhile, Pierce was telling ESPN's Doris Burke on the ABC telecast that the "best part" of the day was having "my family" and "my teammates. all in one building" to help him celebrate his No. 34 jersey getting raised to the rafters.

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The 6-foot-7 forward nicknamed "The Truth" by an National Basketball Association legend, Shaquille O'Neal, Pierce is Boston's all-time leader in 3-pointers made (1,823), free throws made (6,434) and steals (1,583). "I'm very proud of you, and I'm proud that you were a Celtic".

Pierce, resplendent in a green blazer and blue tie, sat courtside for Sunday's game.

When it came time for his celebration, Pierce ditched a speech he had written and made a decision to just go from the heart.

"I didn't expect that all, especially coming from rivals", Pierce said. "I left a legacy".

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