paul-pierce-boston-celtics Apr 26, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) walks off the court during the third quarter of game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs against the New York Knicks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics had planned to show a brief video tribute to their former star Isaiah Thomas when he returns to Boston next month. But another former Celtics star, Paul Pierce, is pulling the plug on the whole idea because he wants that night to be all about him.

The Celtics will be retiring Pierce’s No. 34 jersey on Feb. 11 alongside the uniform numbers of other franchise legends hanging from the TD Garden rafters. It is an honor that Pierce has worked hard to earn and perhaps he is entitled to dictate what can happen that night as far as who a ceremony is devoted to.

The team certainly felt that was the case and gave Pierce the option approving a brief video tribute for Thomas receiving a brief video tribute on the same night.

But Pierce gave a thumbs down on the idea to the Celtics and head of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

Thomas will be making his first appearance in Boston since being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer in the Kyrie Irving deal. The Celtics did not play a video tribute for him the last time Cleveland was in town because he was injured at the time, still recovering from the hip issue he suffered during the playoffs last season. Thomas asked for the video tribute to not be played prior to a Jan. 3 game since his family was not on hand because he was not playing.

Little did anyone realize the next time the Cavs were scheduled to visit Boston was for the Pierce jersey retirement ceremony.

Pierce said at the time that Thomas should have just gone through with the tribute video during the Jan. 3 game. On ESPN’s The Jump, he also took a jab at players getting tribute videos more frequently now, suggesting the honor is being diminished.

“Everybody’s getting a tribute video now. You play for a team, you get traded, you get a tribute video. Now, I’m not saying Isaiah shouldn’t get a tribute video. On February 11, the night I get my jersey retired, I’m not sure I want to look up at the jumbotron and see Isaiah highlights. After all the years I put in … hopefully the Boston Celtics will do that for me. I’m not sure if I want to see an Isaiah video that night.”

Because this has devolved into a weird, bizarre mess for some reason, Thomas asked for the video to not be played prior to the Feb. 11 game so it would not fracture Pierce’s ego on his special night.

“It was only going to be during that segment,” Ainge explained to ESPN. “During the rest of the game, it was going to be all Paul Pierce. But, after listening to Paul’s perspective, I understood it and shared it with Isaiah and he understood it, too.”

Why Pierce can’t allow 90 seconds in the pregame introductions for Thomas to get his props is beyond me. What are the odds Pierce is paying close attention to those intros anyway on any given night? C’mon, Paul. Just let the Celtics do this and be done with it.


About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.

2 thoughts on “Celtics won’t honor Isaiah Thomas because Paul Pierce is petty and self-centered

  1. How many people get their number retired? Amazing achievement…he should get the night. IT was a nice player and fun to watch. Should have had the tribute last time in town Not #34 fault that IT turned it down.

  2. Very strange – the media seems to want to blame Pierce for this. The Celtics called him in and said “What do you prefer” and he said to have IT on another night. They asked him – is he supposed to lie? Who cares? IT played there for a few years and the Celtics want to honor him on Pierce’s night, after IT already turned down another offer.

Comments are closed.