Celtics

Celtics officially sign Paul Pierce, allowing him to retire with team

"I'm a Celtic for life."

Paul Pierce celebrates June 17, 2008, with the NBA Finals MVP trophy after the Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of the 2008 NBA Finals. Elsa / Getty Images

Paul Pierce is officially back with the Celtics, but only as a precursor to his impending retirement. The Boston legend officially put pen to paper on Monday, enabling him to formally end his NBA career with the team that drafted him in 1998.

Pierce, who played for the Los Angeles Clippers the last two years, is retiring after 19 seasons in the league. He noted in a team press release that it was an “honor” to sign with Boston one last time. As he’s now retiring following his signing, Pierce pointed out that, “I’m a Celtic for life.”

“We’re honored that Paul has chosen to retire as a Celtic,” said Celtics managing partner Wyc Grousbeck. “He is among the very best Celtics – a champion on and off the court. We congratulate Paul on a Hall of Fame career, and look forward to seeing his number raised to the rafters of TD Garden.”

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Here’s Pierce signing his final NBA contract:

And one last glimpse of the 2008 NBA Finals MVP holding his jersey as an under-contract Celtics player:

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