When you think back on the Boston Celtics of the first decade of the 2000s, there is no way to separate the team from Paul Pierce. The No. 10 overall pick in the 1998 draft, Pierce was an immediate starter and laid the foundation for the Celtics’ 2008 championship – the first one the franchise had won in more than 20 years.
There’s plenty of interest in attending Pierce’s jersey retirement ceremony, which will take place after Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden. In fact, the level of interest has driven ticket prices over $1,000. According to TicketIQ.com, the current average asking price on the secondary market is $1,092, making it the second-most expensive ticket around the NBA this season. Kobe Bryant’s jersey retirement game at Staples Center on Dec. 18, 2017 ran $1,477. The third highest-priced ticket for the season was for the Golden State Warriors-Cavaliers game on Christmas Day, which cost an average of $818. The get-in price for Sunday’s game is $391.
Boston, which leads the Eastern Conference, hasn’t been a cheap ticket all season, but Sunday’s game is 609 percent higher than the season average of $154. It’s also more expensive than the 2010 NBA Finals, for which a ticket ran $494, according to TicketIQ.com.
When Pierce’s number is raised to the rafters at TD Garden, he’ll join such greats as team founder Walter Brown (1), nine-time NBA Championship coach Red Auerbach (2) and iconic players Bill Russell (6), John Havlicek (17) and Larry Bird (33).
The Celtics drafted Pierce out of Kansas in 1998 and he went on to become team captain. He played 15 of his 19 professional seasons in Boston. The team sent him to Brooklyn after the 2013-14 season. He played a single season with the Washington Wizards and two with the Los Angeles Clippers before retiring in 2017. Pierce signed a one-day contact with Boston in July 2017 in order to be able to retire as a Celtic.
Pierce helped build a team that truly became a force when he was surrounded by young superstars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007. One year later, Boston won the NBA Finals and Pierce, a 10-time NBA All-Star, was the MVP.