Isaiah Thomas concedes to Paul Pierce on video tribute
NBA.com Global on Jan 17, 2018 01:05 PM
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 5: Paul Pierce #34 of the LA Clippers kisses the leprechaun after the game against the Boston Celtics on February 5, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
Isaiah Thomas has conceded to Paul Pierce's insistence that a video tribute to the former Celtic, traded last summer to acquire Kyrie Irving, not be shown when Boston retires the future Hall of Famer's No. 34 on Feb. 11 (Feb. 12, PHL time).
I'd like to thank the Celtics for their gracious offer to play a video tribute on Feb 11th celebrating my 3yrs in Boston. But since it appears this has caused some controversy w/ Paul Pierce's night I'd ask the Celtics instead to focus all of their attention on #34's career.— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 17, 2018
Thomas had declined to have a video tribute during the Cavaliers' previous visit to Boston on Jan. 3 (Jan. 4, PHL time), which he was forced to miss as he continued his length recovery from a hip injury.
The next opportunity is Feb. 11 (Feb. 12, PHL time), the same night the Celtics will send Pierce's number to the rafters at TD Garden. The Celtics have had no shortage of standouts over the years, and Pierce ranks among the best with 10 All-Star appearances, 24,021 points -- second most in franchise history -- and a starring role in their 2007-08 championship team.
Never one to soft-pedal an opinion, Pierce was vehement that he have the night all to himself.
"[Thomas] had a shot to be honored," Pierce told ESPN. "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 [Ainge] 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."
Said Ainge, "I wanted to make it clear that it was never my intention or Isaiah's intention to take away from the special day for Paul Pierce. And no one was ever comparing [Thomas] to Paul Pierce. We all owe Paul a lot. Everyone in the organization."