The nominees for the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame class were unveiled Tuesday, and Boston Celtics fans were particularly happy about one name on the list.
Celtics legend Paul Pierce was among the first-time nominees.
Pierce played the first 15 seasons of his 19-year NBA career in Boston, where he became one of the best players in Celtics history. He's the second-leading scorer in Celtics history and won NBA Finals MVP in Boston's 2007-08 championship triumph over the rival Los Angeles Lakers.
The announcement of the nominees was made during Tuesday afternoon's edition of "The Jump" on ESPN, a show that Pierce frequently appears on as an analyst.
Pierce found out live on the show, and he had a great reaction to the news.
"Just to be recognized -- if I do make it -- just to be recognized in basketball lore forever. When I'm long gone and away, I've always said, the Hall of Fame is forever and having my number hung in the Boston Garden is forever," Pierce said. "It's a true honor if it were to happen. I'm blessed that I was able to put time into my craft, and all the hard work, mornings and nights that I can get to this point."
Check out the segment in the video below:
If Pierce is ultimately inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the 2021 class -- and it would be a surprise if he wasn't -- the Celtics would have former players go into the HOF in back-to-back years. Kevin Garnett, who was on that 2008 Celtics title team with Pierce, is a member of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.