Celtics poised to retire Paul Pierce’s number Sunday

BOSTON (WHDH) - Paul Pierce spent 15 seasons with the Boston Celtics and helped the team end a 22-year championship drought.

His ability to rise to the occasion has earned him a spot among the team’s legends.

On Sunday, his number 34 will be raised to the rafters.

“Every day you see those numbers in the arena,” Pierce said. “That was inspiration. Seeing those numbers and those banners — I was like, one day, I want to be up there.”

Sunday afternoon, he will be.

Celtics legends say the 10-time All-Star deserves the recognition.

“In my opinion, I thought he was the best offensive Celtic ever,” said Robert Parrish. “His career warrants his jersey being retired.”

“He wasn’t scared of nobody,” said former teammate Antoine Walker. “He wanted to play against the best, he wanted to guard the best. He wanted to be the best, and that’s one thing that got him to the point where he is today.”

Pierce is equally as proud of what he did off the court for the city he says raised him.

“I embraced this city, and they embraced me back,” he said. “It was more than basketball. I was able to get out in the community, try to inspire change.

Pierce says he’s not much of a crier, but the moment when they raise the banner will definitely be surreal.

Celtics legend Bill Russell also offered a message to Pierce on Twitter Sunday: