Behind the Numbers - Paul Pierce #34

By Peter F. Stringer
Celtics.com

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce has worn #34 since his days at Inglewood High School, and hopes to see it hanging in the rafters at the Garden one day.

What do Xavier McDaniel, Kevin Gamble, Frank Brickowski, Rick Carlisle, Jim Ard and Dennis Awtrey have in common?

They're among the 11 other Celtics who've worn the number 34 on their jersey for the Boston Celtics.

And then there's Paul Pierce, who's worn No. 34 since his rookie season in 1998, and if his career continues on the path it's headed, he'll likely be the last to ever wear the number here in Boston.

So how did Pierce choose #34?

"My sophomore year in high school, it was the biggest jersey, the only one I could fit into at the time," said Pierce, who played at Inglewood High School in Inglewood, CA, in the shadows of the
Great Western Forum, where the
Los Angeles Lakers played during Pierce's
childhood.

THE PLAYERS
Behind The Numbers
Gilbert Arenas 0, Wizards
Marcus Banks 3, Timberwolves
Mike Bibby 10, Kings
Andrew Bogut 6, Bucks
Kobe Bryant 8, Lakers
Jarron Collins 31, Jazz
Tony Delk 00, Pistons
Melvin Ely 2, Bobcats
Pau Gasol 16, Grizzlies
Manu Ginobli 20, Spurs
Drew Gooden 90, Cavaliers
Grant Hill 33, Magic
Royal Ivey 36, Hawks
Linton Johnson 43, Hornets
Dikembe Mutombo 55, Rockets
Eric Piatkowski 52, Bulls
Paul Pierce 34, Celtics
Shavlik Randolph 42, Sixers
Earl Watson 25, Sonics

Pierce went on to star at the University of Kansas in college, and wore #34 for three seasons with the Jayhawks.

"There's no real reason, but I've got my number so I might as well stick with it. I wore it all through high school, and when I got to college I wore it," said Pierce.

After his junior year at Kansas, the Celtics drafted him 10th overall in the 1998 NBA Draft. Knowing a little bit about Celtics history from growing up watching the Lakers, Pierce only had one concern about becoming a Celtic. Was his No. 34 already in the rafters?

"I'm just thankful that they never retired it here with the Celtics," said Pierce. "That was one of the first questions I asked when I got here."

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