"The Truth" is another step closer to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce was nominated for the Hall of Fame's 2021 class, the Hall of Fame announced Tuesday. This is Pierce's first year of Hall of Fame eligibility after he retired in 2017 following 19 pro seasons.
Finalists for the 2021 Hall of Fame class are expected to be revealed in March, with the final class expected to be announced in April. The enshrinement ceremony for the 2021 class is scheduled for September of 2021 at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
Pierce should be a no-brainer pick for the 2021 class. Other nominees include Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Michael Cooper, Shawn Marion, Ben Wallace and Chris Webber. Bosh and Billups are probably the two players with the best chance for enshrinement after Pierce, but the C's legend's résumé is better than both of his former rivals.
Pierce was a 10-time All-Star, earned four All-NBA selections, made the 1998-99 All-Rookie team and won NBA Finals MVP for the Boston Celtics' championship-winning 2007-08 squad.
He finished with per game averages of 19.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists, while shooting 36.8 percent from 3-point range and 44.5 percent from the floor. Pierce averaged 20 or more points per game in eight seasons, including a career-high 26.8 during the 2005-06 campaign.
His 22,591 points scored as a Celtic are the second-most in team history behind John Havlicek. Pierce's No. 34 was retired by the Celtics in 2018.
When the bright lights of the playoffs shined, Pierce consistently took his game to a higher level. Pierce was a fantastic closer, and his battles with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant will forever be remembered in Boston.
Pierce played the first 15 years of his career with the Celtics before playing for the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers over his final four seasons.