Paul Pierce doesn't want to share the spotlight on his special night.
The former NBA star will have his No. 34 retired by the Boston Celtics on Feb. 11, and hopes the team doesn't divert attention away from him by also honoring Isaiah Thomas, whose Cleveland Cavaliers will be in town the same night.
"I just feel like this: You only get your jersey retired once. It's a crowning achievement for me," he said Friday, according to ESPN's Chris Forsberg.
"You play this game, 19 years I was able to play, and I just feel like this is a day where I'm going to have my family, I'm going to have all the people that helped me get to the point where I needed to be throughout my 19-year career to be successful, and I just feel like that's just a special day for me.
"Now, if you look at other retired players, I don't remember ... other tributes going on on the same day. Isaiah will be back in Boston again - next year, the year after, he's going to have a long career there. But this one day should belong to Paul Pierce."
Boston originally planned to present a video montage when Thomas visited TD Garden on Wednesday for the first time as a member of the Cavaliers. But the All-Star point guard, whom the Celtics traded this past offseason in the Kyrie Irving blockbuster, asked his former team to hold off since he wasn't going to play, having just returned from a hip injury.
Thomas preferred to wait until the next time he comes back, which happens to fall on Pierce's jersey retirement night. Celtics GM Danny Ainge said the organization will honor Thomas' request, though perhaps he could be persuaded by the longtime Celtic.
Pierce, now 40, starred with the C's for 15 seasons, earning 10 All-Star nods and leading Boston to a championship in 2008.