By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
In his first year of eligibility, former Celtics’ captain Paul Pierce has been named as a nominee for the Naismith Memorial Basketball of Fame Class of 2021.
Pierce is one of eight first time nominees in the class, along with Doug Collins, Michael Cooper, Howard Garfinkel, Lou Henson, Val Ackerman, Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson.
Drafted by the Celtics 10th overall in 1998, Pierce was the franchise’s star player for 15 seasons. He was a 10-time All Star, four-time All-NBA, and a crucial part of the 2008 championship team. In 1,102 games with Boston, he averaged 22 points, six rebounds, and four assists per contest.
Even Pierce’s ending with the Celtics was massively beneficial to the organization. Along with Kevin Garnett, he was the centerpiece of a deal that saw the Brooklyn Nets send Boston the draft picks that would eventually turn into Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Pierce spent the final four years of his career with the Nets, Wizards, and Clippers. Over his 19-year career Pierce scored 26,397 points – the 16th most in NBA history.
In a special moment, Pierce found out about his nomination on live TV. Pierce was on-set when the list of nominees was revealed on ESPN’s The Jump Tuesday afternoon. You can see his reaction below.
Assuming everything remains on schedule, the list of over 100 nominees will be trimmed down to a few finalists during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, with the Class of 2021 revealed at some point in March. The enshrinement ceremony is currently scheduled for September.
Long-time Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most is also a finalist as a contributor. Other non-first-year finalists include Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Richard Hamilton, Bob Huggins, Ben Wallace, Chris Webber, Jay Wright, Swin Cash and Becky Hammon.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.