As the Clippers have been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs, Paul "The Truth" Pierce's Hall-of-Fame career has come to an end. One of the greatest players and competitors of this generation, a staple for the Boston Celtics franchise for 15 seasons, and a 10-time All-Star. After 19 seasons in the NBA, playing for the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, and finally the LA Clippers, "The Truth" will finally be calling it quits.
Pierce was drafted 10th overall by the Boston Celtics in 1998 after playing 3 seasons at Kansas, and made an immediate impact for the Celtics, finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting for the '98-99 season, and he only continued to get better. He stuck with the Celtics through some of the worst seasons in franchises history, and is regarded as one of the greatest Celtics ever. Averaging 21.8 points per game, 6.0 rebounds a game, 3.9 assists a game and 1.4 steals a game during his 15 seasons in Boston, and helped lead the Celtics to an NBA Championship in the 2007-2008 season with the original "Big-3", of him, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, earning the NBA Finals MVP award.
Paul Pierce is a true warrior, and the only story that needs to be told to prove that is his 2000 stabbing incident, where Piece was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck, and back while breaking up a fight in a club in Boston, and was rushed to the hospital where they thankfully were able to save his life. He had to undergo lung surgery to repair the damage, and yet was still the only the player on the Celtics team that year to start all 82 games.
Pierce is one of the last true competitors in the NBA, and has never been afraid to speak his mind on the lack of competitive spirit and winning desire that still exists in the NBA. The NBA will absolutely miss Paul Pierce, and as Shaq put it in a 2001 interview after Pierce dropped 42 points on 13 of 19 shooting against the Lakers, that led to Pierce receiving the nickname "The Truth", "My name is Shaquille O'Neal and Paul Pierce is the motherfucking truth. Quote me on that and don't take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn't know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is The Truth".
I hope he enjoys retirement, and the NBA will certainly miss him, as he is a true legend. With his retirement, there are now only two players left from the 1998 NBA Draft, Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki.