Brad Penner-USA Today

Paul Pierce says Celtics were giving tribute to Isaiah Thomas out of 'guilt'

Ty Anderson
January 17, 2018 - 3:10 am

Celtics legend Paul Pierce has made sure that the day the Celtics retire his No. 34 to the rafters of TD Garden, which will be on Feb. 11 when the Cavaliers return to Boston, will be about The Truth, The Whole Truth, and nothing but The Truth.

This means that the video tribute for Celtic-turned-Cavalier guard Isaiah Thomas, which was scrapped from its original Jan. 3 date due to Thomas’ desire to have his family in attendance and him on the court as an active participant in the game, will not play.

This is undoubtedly at the request of Pierce, who has been more than vocal about his desire to not share his day with Thomas, who spent just two and a half years in Boston. But Pierce, officially getting his way with Thomas essentially bowing out of the request with this tweet, continues to tell anybody willing to listen why he feels the way he does. This time the lucky hot mics belonged to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan and Chris Forsberg, who spoke with No. 34 and Ainge on Tuesday (before Isaiah's tweet hit the internet). 

"[Thomas] had a shot to be honored," Pierce told ESPN on Tuesday. "You came to Boston. Whether you are playing or not, you should have had your tribute then. I just don't see how, if someone is having a jersey retirement, they're going to be running other tributes for other players.

"Danny [Ainge] tried to sell me on it, but I told him, 'He had a shot, Danny, and he punked you on it. He pretty much dictated everything.' They let it happen because they felt sorry how [trading him to the Cavaliers] went down. It's guilt. That's what it is."

Ainge, while not confirming ‘guilt’ as his reason for the tribute video that will now go unaired, agreed with a Pierce after hearing about it from The Truth’s point of view.

"I wanted to make it clear that it was never my intention or Isaiah's intention to take away from the special day for Paul Pierce," Ainge told ESPN. "And no one was ever comparing I.T. to Paul Pierce. We all owe Paul a lot. Everyone in the organization."

 JBL is the official audio of Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics, and the NBA. 

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