A legend played his final game today. Sometime in the next few months he’ll sign a one-day contract with the Celtics, and officially retire from the NBA with the team that drafted him.
How many of these tribute articles have I written for Paul Pierce? I don’t really care because it will never be enough. When I’m 100 years old, I’ll probably be typing on an imaginary keyboard mumbling something about “top of the key, step back, ‘GOT IT.’”
Every time I see him on TV, in my head I immediately stand on a desk in tribute. Whenever I hear the phrase “the truth” I think of him. When I see him tweet misspelled notes on twitter, I laugh and click “like” anyway.
Forgive my self-absorbed ramblings. It’s just so hard for me to separate my own personal experiences with what Paul Pierce meant to me. He had such a deep impact that there are moments in my life that I can trace back to his career better than I can to a calendar. He was drafted a year after I graduated college (I remember screaming with joy into the phone on my friend’s answering machine). He was the face of the franchise as I built up this blog from scratch. He won the title the year my first child was born (naturally).
I’ve never had the privilege of meeting Paul Pierce but it kinda feels like I grew up with him from a distance. The thing is, I think he feels that way too. Not with respect to me personally, but I know he shares a respect and camaraderie with the fans and the City of Boston as a community.
When he was down, we were behind him. When he was frustrated, we were frustrated for him. When he persevered, we cheered him on. So when he reached that pinnacle and jumped up on that table, I think he was reaching out to all of us to raise that trophy as a symbolic salute, saying “We did this together!”
So forgive me if I write another one of these tributes when he signs his 1 day contract with the Celtics. And another one when he’s inducted into the Hall of Fame. And others whenever I feel like it.
I love and respect Paul Pierce and any small way I can show him that is the least I can do.