For Pete's Sake

Paul Pierce called ‘petty’ for asking Celtics to postpone Isaiah Thomas tribute

Former Boston Celtics great Paul Pierce.
Former Boston Celtics great Paul Pierce. The Associated Press

Former Kansas star Paul Pierce was an all-star in 10 of his 15 seasons with the Celtics, and he was a key member of Boston’s NBA title in 2008.

On Feb. 11, Pierce’s No. 34 jersey will be retired when the Celtics play the Cavaliers. Cleveland guard Isaiah Thomas will be making his last trip to Boston, so the team thought it would show a tribute video that same night.

That apparently was a problem for Pierce. He told ESPN’s Chris Forsberg: “I’m not saying Isaiah shouldn’t get a tribute video … but on Feb. 11, the night I get my jersey retired, I’m not sure I want to look up at the JumboTron and see Isaiah highlights.”

Thomas has subsequently said he doesn’t want a video tribute because of Pierce’s objection.

But Pierce’s stance has irked others around the game, and Jalen Rose addressed it during ESPN’s “NBA Countdown,” which features former players including ... Pierce.

“By the way, the Boston Celtics did turn around their fortunes since you played there when Isaiah Thomas was leading them,” Rose said to Pierce. “He was a part of them being a No. 1 seed. He had tragedy with the team. He even played in a playoff game after his sister tragically passed away. Next, I’ve got to say a word for you. I think it was petty.”

Tracy McGrady asked: “On who’s part?”

“On Paul Pierce’s part,” Rose answered.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff