|Paul Pierce looks back after 1,000th game as a Celtic||03.10.12 at 10:26 am ET|
Paul Pierce played in his 1,000th game for the Celtics in Friday night’s 104-86 victory over the Blazers. Only Robert Parish (1,106 games) and John Havlicek (1,270 games) have played more games for the franchise than Pierce. Earlier this season, Pierce passed legend Kevin McHale on the all-time list for games played as a Celtic.
“When you think about your first game ever here at the Garden and your just excited to get your career started,” Pierce said. “Now so many years have past and I’ve reached a thousand games. You think, wow, it’s a combination of being here a long time and I’m getting older.”
In February, Pierce reached new heights in Celtic lure, passing Larry Bird for second place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. Overall, however, this season has been a roller-coaster ride for Pierce, like most of the Celtics. After missing the first three games because of a right-heel injury, Pierce struggled to find his game. This led to speculation that Pierce was involved in trade talks.
The captain regained form when the Celtics needed him most though. Pierce led the Celtics during a critical stretch, when Rajon Rondo was out of the lineup because of a wrist injury, earning Eastern conference Player of the Week honors in early February, and also a trip to his 10th All-Star selection.
For Pierce the milestones seem to resonate in the right way. He wants to retire a Celtic, wants to be mentioned among the all-time greats, but his main goals are rings, not statistics.
“I think the fans will really appreciate another championship more than me passing Hondo,” Pierce said the night he passed Bird. “So, you know, that’s my ultimate goal.”