Los Angeles Clipper Paul Pierce, who will retire from the NBA at the end of this season, played at Boston’s TD Garden for the final time Sunday afternoon.
For Pierce, a longtime Nike athlete, the game was a homecoming of sorts.
The 39-year-old — who played for the Boston Celtics for 15 years, from 1998 to 2013 — received a standing ovation from fans who remember his stellar 2007-’08 championship season.
But it was a timeout during the first quarter of Sunday’s game that took fans down memory lane. The Celtics played a tribute video, which showed Pierce’s career highlights, which included being drafted in 1998, making clutch shots and winning a world title.
Though Pierce’s Clippers lost, 107-102, he hit a 3-point shot in his team’s final possessions of the game for his first and only points.
“I’ve been enjoying every moment of it,” Pierce said after the game. “The fans truly appreciate what I’ve been able to do for this franchise. I really feel the love. I’m really thankful just to be able to come in here one last time.”
To close the day, Pierce walked out on the parquet floor a final time, waved to the fans and kissed Lucky the Leprechaun before heading into the locker room.