Pierce is coming off a season with the Washington Wizards during which he averaged career-lows in points (11.9), rebounds (four), assists (two) and minutes (26.2). But he has been a bona fide superstar in the league, averaging 20 or more points during eight seasons, including a career high of 26.8 points in 2005-06.
Picking some of the top moments in Paul's illustrious career is a tall task, considering his epic parade of buzzer beaters and showdowns with other top players -- but here are a few of the greatest moments in his career:
No. 1: Pierce helped the Celtics win the 2008 NBA Finals against the Lakers by averaging 21.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists a game in the series. He didn't necessarily play the best basketball of his life in that series, but it was undoubtedly one of the most important and defining moments of his career. He was named the MVP of the finals, and was filled with emotion during the ring ceremony. Check it
No. 2: Pierce scored 46 points on 12-for-18 shooting in the second half of a game against the New Jersey Nets on Dec. 1, 2001. He finished that game with what was then a career-high 48 points, after only making one of his 17 shots in the first half.
No. 3: Pierce survived being stabbed 11 times in the head, neck and back after being attacked at a nightclub in Boston on September 25th, 2000. Less than a month later, the Celtics were on the court. He didn't miss a single game that season. Check it
No. 4: In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002, Paul helped the Celtics overcome a 26-point third quarter deficit by scoring 19 points in the fourth quarter. The Celtics went on to win, notching what was then the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in the playoffs in league history. Check out this video.
No. 5: Pierce has made so many buzzer-beaters -- this one made the list because it was the most recent, and it came after a season in which he had the lowest output of his career. With the game tied at 101-101 in Game 3 of the 2015 Eastern Conference semifinals, Pierce made a buzzer-beating bank shot to give the Wizards a 103-101 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Check it.
No. 6: Pierce and Indiana Pacers' Al Harrington exchanged words with the seconds ticking off the clock in their 2003 first-round playoff series. With 3.6 seconds left, Paul made the game-winning three-pointer in Harrington's face. Check it.
No. 7: LeBron James has credited Pierce with helping him become the player he is today. The two superstars have had numerous epic battles, but perhaps none was more interesting than their second-round playoff series in 2008. In Game 7, James had 45 points and Pierce had 41. Check it.
No. 8: Pierce was nicknamed "The Truth" after the Lakers beat the Celtics in a game in 2001, in which Pierce scored 42 points on 13-for-19 shooting. After that game, Shaquille O'Neal told a reporter: "Take this down. My name is Shaquille O'Neal and Paul Pierce is the ... truth. Quote me on that and don't take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn't know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is The Truth."