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Celtics’ Paul Pierce farewell tribute video

The Celtics honored Paul PIerce with a touching farewell video and a thunderous ovation from the crowd. Watch the video of the tribute video and his final introduction here.

BOSTON — Paul Pierce said before the game that he didn’t know if he would cry when he stepped before the Garden crowd. Doc Rivers said if he saw Pierce cry, he would cry internally.

As Pierce marched across the floor, spotlight on his tail, he did his vintage dice game intro celebration. Then he turned to the crowd as the stadium rumbled, holding a wave until one final salute.

Then after the first timeout, the Celtics ran one last tribute video to the Truth, which finally cued the waterworks.

Pierce touched on a variety of topics before his final game. Here is the video and full transcript:

On what he’s brought to the Clippers this year: “Man, you know what? I haven’t really played a lot, too much this year, but you know hopefully I can just share with me – share with the team my experiences, share with them the know-how to try to get to a championship level, you know, what’s it going to take every day in practice and every day on the court. You know, I just try to share with them my experience to try to help elevate this team to championship status.”

On if he’s enjoying that role: “Yeah, I am. You know, I get a chance to talk, and I get a chance to mentor, and I get a chance to work with the young guys. It’s been a lot of fun.”

On what it was like walking into the Garden today: “It was chills; it was a lot of chills. You know, I’m still a little nervous right now, so who knows what’s going to happen when I get out there on the court and all the fans are out there. It was a lot easier going out there and warming up without the fans, but I – it’ll probably be a totally different reaction once I see the fans and the crowd.”

On his hesitancy in starting today: “I know, I’ve been on ice for like a month right now, so I’ll see how I feel. You know, I’ve got to get a good stretch out before the game.”

On what it means to him to start today: “It’s feels great. You know, I’m glad (Head Coach) Doc (Rivers) was able to get me out there one last time, knowing that this would be my last game as a player in the Boston Garden. So it’s an honor. You know, nineteen years ago today was my first game as a starter and I’m ending that off 2017 as a starter in the Boston Garden, ending my career, last game here on the same day – which is pretty ironic. But my whole career, the way I got here, and how everything ended up, is pretty ironic too. Being a Laker fan, beating the Lakers in the Finals, ending up the 10th pick, you know things just happen for a reason.”

On seeing fans and signing autographs in the tunnel pre-game: “I know this is pretty much my last time, so I wanted to try to sign as many autographs as I could. Like I said before, I’m just soaking it all in, enjoying every moment of it, giving it back to the fans what they gave me.”

On what games that stand out for him: “I guess the biggest moment was just raising that banner. You know, ring ceremony night was probably one of the fewest times I ever cried on the court. I can’t remember the last time before that but that was very emotional night. A night I remember, night we had my family there, my mom, a lot of my uncles there just to watch. They know pretty much what I went through as a young kid to get to that point, and so that’s a night I’ll never forget.”

On memories of the Big Three: “I mean, the memories are always going to be with me. I always am going to have a relationship with a lot of guys on that team. You know, I share a lot of different memories with those guys. We still group text, a lot of us, pictures everywhere in my office of that team, and so it’s going to be forever engraved with me. Always have a relationship with these guys; it’s just something that when you win a championship, you know it forms a natural bond with you and your teammates that you share with each other forever. And so I’ll forever hold that.”

On traveling around Boston yesterday: “Oh, yeah, it was a lot of fun. Brought back a lot of memories. Like you saw my Instagram page, I went around the city, just kind of cruising, looking around, going to old stomping grounds. And so when you spend 15 years in one place it’s hard to let it go, and so when you come back to it you just kind of go around and reminisce about it and enjoy the time you have, that I had here.”

On Isaiah Thomas posting a picture with him: “Yeah, at the end of my night, I ran into him, and I told him you know I was pretty much, I’m proud of what he’s been able to do for this organization. This city will get behind you as long as you continue to work hard and compete at a high level and soak it all up. There’s no place like this place in the NBA. It’s kind of what we talked about. And I said, I told him, “Enjoy it. Enjoy every moment.”

On if it was like handing off a torch to Isaiah: “He’s taken it. He’s taken the torch, man. He’s – the city is proud of him for what he’s doing. You know, I keep up. I’ve been watching him. And especially where he’s come from, I mean, he’s been on like three or four different teams and now he’s finally established his self as an NBA MVP candidate, All-Star. Just the route that he took: he wasn’t projected to really much in the NBA as a small guy, and so he’s – he’s taken a different route than a lot of us and he definitely could carry the torch in his time here.”

Despite half a season left, does today feel like a “going out” moment: “Yeah, you know, it does. Because I know how much I – I’ve been appreciated here, you know. I think that other franchises that I’ve played for, really – they don’t really get it because I didn’t play there long. I played one year in Brooklyn, one year in Washington, and this is my second year in Los Angeles. And so I spent 15 years here and these people really appreciate what I was able to bring to the game. So it is, it is like my going out moment.”

On where his game is now: “I’ve been working everyday, I’m prepared to play I think I have something left in the tank to give this team. Whether it be end of the season playoffs I still feel like I can make an impact but that’s something the coaches feel is best for team.”

On being a Patriots fan – Tom Brady same age as you: “I think Brady is a little older than me. I think he got me by a couple of months. I wish him the best of luck. In my eyes he’s the greatest quarterback that ever played and for him to be doing this at the age he’s doing it he’s defying all the odds of a football player, of a football quarterback but that just shows you what greatness can be and he is one of the greatest. It looks like he can do this another five years so hopefully they go out there and win another Super Bowl for the city.”

On thoughts after basketball: “I’ve given it a little thought. I’ve thought about maybe still being involved in the game of basketball in some kind of way whether it be upper management; I’m not sure about coaching yet, coaching is still a grind when you’re coming off a 19 year grind you want to spend a little time with your family so I’m not so sure about that. I’ve thought about doing some broadcast stuff, I’ve done that in the past, as you know I did the Finals last year. There’s some things in the back of my mind that I’ll consider. I’m just enjoying this last year for right now then I’ll jump into that.”

If Tommy Heinson should be worried: “Tommy Heinson should not be worried, Tommy is here for life.”

On job Kevin Garnett is doing on TV: “KG is having fun. I talk to him every week. Not only is he doing Area 21 he’s also doing some consulting with the Clippers so I see him once a week so me and him get our time to catch up, we usually go to dinner once a week. He’s enjoying life, he’s happy with his decision to retire and he’s enjoying the fruits of all his labor and he said he’s having the time of his life.”

On if that makes him feel better about retiring: “Definitely. I’ve had a chance to talk to a few people who have been in professional sports, not only basketball but other sports, to talk about when they thought they were ready to retire and its definitely put me at ease about my decision to move forward after this year.”

On how the deal with Brooklyn keeps on giving: “Danny (Ainge) really put this team in a position to be great again in such a short period of time after I left. I’ve been able to be a part of that thankfully so he understands the significance of Boston basketball and keeping it at a level where it needs to be at. To get the number one pick would be pretty awesome for this franchise in taking the next step toward a championship again.”

On qualities to achieve greatness: “I think defining qualities are work ethic, no sleep, a little bit of craziness too. People used to say I was crazy because of the hours I put in the gym and just going to the gym at 2 in the morning was not normal. Just not sleeping. A lot of people who do great things in this world are not sleepers I don’t think so I think there’s more than a few qualities, I can’t think of them all right now. I think maybe sometimes its different in a lot of different people, but I think work ethic is definitely one and you see things that others don’t.”

Area of your game that grew the most over the years: “I think I had all the tools as far as basketball wise, it was just about me maturing, my game maturing and trying to help the next person. It wasn’t about me it was about making my teammates better. I think once I matured to that level it really took me to the next level.”

If slipping in draft like Isaiah Thomas did gave motivation early in your career: “As a competitor you always try to find different things to motivate you, that was definitely one of my motivating factors coming in. I felt like I was going to be a top two or three pick so when things don’t go your way its only right and its only natural for a competitor to use that for motivation. I can see that in Isaiah, he felt like was one of the better players in college and I thought he was. I remember watching him and for him to slip. You got to understand a guy like that who’s not the tallest of guys, considering how tall guys are for basketball, so he’s always been written against so he’s always had motivation regardless of what pick he went, his motivation is he is the smallest guy on the court every time he stepped on the court. He was motivated always to try to prove himself no matter what level he was on. He’ll always have that motivation, he’ll always have that chip on his shoulder and that’s the way he’s playing.”

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