Truth is up there: Celtics retire Pierce's No. 34


BOSTON -- Less than a decade after tears filled his eyes as he raised the Boston Celtics' 2008 title banner, Paul Pierce was all smiles as his No. 34 went to the rafters at TD Garden during a jersey retirement celebration Sunday following the Celtics' 121-99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Surrounded by his family, Pierce watched his No. 34 jersey takes its place alongside other Celtics legends and Boston's 17 championship banners. He then grabbed the Larry O'Brien trophy from the 2008 NBA Finals and raised it in celebration at center court as Celtics fans roared and serenaded him with a "Thank You Paul Pierce" chant.
"When you are forever with the Celtics, you're forever," Pierce said following the ceremony.
"If I never make the Hall of Fame or anything, to go up and make the rafters as a retired number for the Celtics, that's just enough. That's enough for me. Everything else is icing on the cake."
Pierce is the 22nd number retired in Celtics history. He joined an eight-square banner that already featured the numbers of Dennis Johnson (3), Larry Bird (33), Kevin McHale (32), Reggie Lewis (35), Robert Parish (00), and Cedric Maxwell (31). There's an open spot on the banner that seems likely to someday soon be filled by 2008 teammate Kevin Garnett, who was just one of the former Celtics in attendance for Pierce's special day.