The passing of the torch: Paul Pierce and Isaiah Thomas

In a historic, storybook ending at TD Garden yesterday afternoon, Paul Pierce played his final game in Boston. Pierce announced his retirement earlier this year and there's little doubt he had February 5th circled on his calendar. Pierce knows what it takes to be a leader, a captain, and star in one of the most unique markets in sports.

Boston doesn't hold back. The city anticipates and expects greatness. There are players who crumble under that pressure, but the ones who embrace and excel in it are immortal in Bostonian lore.

If there's one player who has made Boston his home and thrives in its environment in recent years, it's Isaiah Thomas.

Who better to recognize and acknowledge that than the man who has lived it himself?

The night before, Thomas posted a picture on Instagram of the two out getting dinner. With the caption "the TRUTH!!!!! #Legend", it's clear that the current guard has true admiration for the ex-Celtics captain of 14 years.

In a way, it was fitting that Thomas was "guarding" Pierce on his final shot at the Garden. Moments like those are ones that show younger players, and veterans for that matter, what it means to be a member of the Celtics. Pierce gave it his all while he was here, and the fans wanted to show the love back.

For Thomas, in as much as he's accomplished to this point, there's still much more left before he can be mentioned in the same breath as Pierce when it comes to leadership and Celtics icons.

But for now, the green torch has been passed. What IT does with it is yet to be seen, but if this year has been any indication, it should be a fun journey for Celtics Nation.

Photo Credit: Matt Stone

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