BOSTON - The Boston Celtics announced today that they have agreed with team Captain Paul Pierce to extend his contract through the 2010-11 season.
"This represents a milestone for the Celtics and for Paul Pierce," said Wyc Grousbeck, the Boston Celtics Managing Partner and Governor. "My partners and I are committed to building a championship contender with Paul, who has become a team leader on and off the court in the best Celtic tradition. With the return of our core players, the quality players we recently added to the team, and the excellent fan support we received last season, we are excited about the momentum we've built going into the 06-07 season and beyond."
Danny Ainge, Executive Director of Basketball Operations, is enthused to have the forward on the court for an extended period with a team he has developed around the five-time NBA All Star.
"Paul is one of the greatest Celtics in the history of our franchise," Ainge said. "We are very happy to have him under contract for the next five years to lead us in the prime of his career."
Drafted by the Boston Celtics out of the University of Kansas in 1998 (10th overall), Pierce has spent his entire career on the court for the Celtics. Named co-captain in 2000, and taking the helm as team captain at the start of the 2003-04 season, Pierce's leadership role with the organization has grown over the last eight seasons.
"I am very happy to be continuing my career as a member of the Boston Celtics," Pierce said. "The Celtics organization and the fans of Boston and New England have been great and now we can continue to strive to put the 17th championship banner up in the rafters."
Pierce had a career year this past season, averaging 26.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, along with 17 double-doubles and one triple-double. After a fourth straight 2000-point season, Pierce has matched Larry Bird for the most seasons in franchise history, and is the eighth leading scorer in Celtics team history. While his 26.8 points per game and 47.1 shooting percentage from the field were both career-highs, Pierce also led the team in scoring 63 games, in rebounds 26 games and assists for 31 games. The Celtics' Captain notched a career-high 50 points against Cleveland on February 15, 2006, with eight assists and seven rebounds in the final contest before the All Star break.