(Watch the video. You can tell Pierce really loves his home town and appreciates how it shaped the person he has become.)
Paul Pierce’s jersey was retired yesterday during a ceremony at Inglewood High School (Inglewood, California).
“This is a great day for me,” Pierce said. “It’s a great honor. There’s only a few people that have had their jersey retired at the high school.”
My question is this: what took Inglewood High School so long? At the high school I attended, I assume all it takes to get a retired jersey is a 20-point game at a Division III college. Then, BAM!, you’ve got your jersey hanging from the rafters. If anybody from my school ever ended up in the NBA, he wouldn’t just have his number retired immediately. He’d have the gymnasium named after him, a parade in his honor, an annual town-wide holiday on the day he was drafted, and three dozen chicks lined up at his door begging to be his wife. I’m not even kidding. But it took Pierce 12 years in the league, an NBA championship, and eight All-Star game appearances to get his jersey retired? Damn.
Pierce also spoke about Shaquille O’Neal. “I’m excited [that the Celtics added Shaq],” Pierce said. “He’s one of my all-time favorite players, and now I have a chance to play with one of the greatest players to ever play the game.” Too bad The Diesel no longer dominates.
Still, Pierce seemed excited by the offseason.
“We reloaded this year,” Pierce continued. “We added some more pieces – Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, a couple other pieces — so he was right. Hopefully we can get to the Finals this year healthy. We’ll have the opportunity to win a championship.”
I sure hope so.