So, as Video Tributegate rages on, word comes that Paul Pierce talked to Danny Ainge and together they agreed not to have a video tribute in honor of Isaiah Thomas on Feb. 11, the day Pierce's Celtics' No. 34 is retired at TD Garden after a game with Thomas' Cavs.
Pierce told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan and Chris Forsberg that Ainge's guilt over how Thomas' trade to the Cavaliers unfolded led to the Celtics ceding to I.T.'s wishes. Thomas said that, because he wasn't playing and because his family wasn't in attendance, he didn't want the tribute on the night of his first return to the Garden, Jan. 3, and instead asked it be held on his second trip, Feb. 11.
"Danny tried to sell me on it, but I told him, 'He had a shot, Danny, and he punked you on it. He pretty much dictated everything,' " Pierce told ESPN. "They let it happen because they felt sorry how [the trade] went down. It's guilt. That's what it is."
Pierce said he had a 40-minute discussion with Ainge, the Celtics president of basketball operations, about the flap over the competing tributes.
"Danny and I talked about it for 40 minutes," Pierce told ESPN. "He told me, 'This is what we have planned,' and at the end of the conversation, he said, 'If you don't want us to do Isaiah, we won't.' So I told him, 'I really don't.' So that was it."
The result was this Thomas' tweet on Monday night. Incidentally, Feb. 11 is the Cavs' last regular-season visit to Boston.
I'd like to thank the Celtics for their gracious offer to play a video tribute on Feb 11th celebrating my 3yrs in Boston. But since it appears this has caused some controversy w/ Paul Pierce's night I'd ask the Celtics instead to focus all of their attention on #34's career.— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 17, 2018
In addition, Forsberg reports that an I.T. tribute won't come in playoffs if the two teams meet. So, it's on to 2019 for I.T.'s big moment at the Garden.
One final tidbit on #TributeGate that’s probably pretty obvious: If Celtics-Cavs happen to meet in playoffs, Isaiah Thomas' tribute won’t come then. It’ll be pushed into next season.— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) January 17, 2018
So IT could potentially have to wait until 2019 to be toasted for his Boston accomplishments.