Some of the greatest names in the history of the NBA have suited up for the Boston Celtics. Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, John Havlicek, Kevin McHale, and Larry Bird are just a few. Coming into tonight the last name in that group occupied the #2 place on the list of top scorers in franchise history behind Havlicek (26,395). Bird (21,791 points) is now 3rd after Paul Pierce scored 15 tonight, passing him to move into the second spot.
Pierce now has 21,797 points in Celtics green and is making a case for himself to be included in the Mount Rushmore of team greats. He’s an NBA Finals MVP, 9-time All-Star, has once been named to the All-NBA Second Team, and named to the Third Team three times. Pierce is 3rd in Celtics history in both games and minutes played, 1st in free throws made, 5th in assists, and 2nd in steals. His #34 is a lock to be hanging from the rafters of TD Garden when his playing days are done. The remaining question is will the 34 year-old retire a Celtic, playing his entire career with the team that drafted him 10th overall in 1998 out of Kansas.
On a larger scale Pierce is now 28th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with Gary Payton (21,813) and Tim Duncan (22,009) immediately ahead of him. If Pierce passes Clyde Drexler to move into the 25th spot he would join teammates Ray Allen (24th) and Kevin Garnett (19th) in the top 25. Pierce is often a forgotten man in the discussion of top players in the NBA today (and ever) but his ranks in the record books of one of the more storied franchises, and the league as a whole, suggest he is more than worthy of being included.