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Robert Parish: Paul Pierce best offensive player in Celtics history

Rob Bradford
February 10, 2018 - 7:53 pm

It's not a number retirement party without a few bold statements. And Saturday night Robert Parish offered a doozy.

Speaking to the media prior to a dinner celebrating Paul Pierce's No. 34 going to the TD Garden rafters Sunday, the former Celtics center put Pierce on a pedestal not everyone might believe he belongs. Parish's proclamation? The honoree was the best offensive player in Celtics history. That's right, even better than Larry Bird.

"I think that Larry (Bird) and John Havlicek and Paul (Pierce) were the best offensive players that the Celtics ever had. I think Paul tops that list in my opinion," Parish told reporters. Adding, "I just feel like Paul was more creative. He was a better scorer than say Larry or John Havlicek."

In terms of total points scored, Pierce was second-best on the Celtics' all-time list, only trailing Havlicek. Bird comes in with the third-most points. But when it comes to the other offensive categories, Piece falls a bit short. Havlicek and Bird are second and third, respectively, among Celtics for most assists, with Pierce coming in at No. 5. 

Bird also holds the advantage in offensive rebounds, placing No. 3 in Celtics history, with Pierce in eighth-place. (Bird averaged more than one more offensive rebound per game than Pierce, who played in 205 more games than No. 33.)

During the media availability portion of the night, Pierce also reflected on what the retired numbers mean to him (while taking a jab at Cedric Maxwell).

"How do you live up to McHale, Bird, Parish? Even Maxwell. Well, Maxwell was easy," he joked.

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