For Paul Pierce, he is now at the crossroad of his career with the Los Angeles Clippers and rumors are swelling around the league that he is already contemplating of making retirement plans from the NBA.
The 38-year old forward has still one more season with the Clippers after signing a three-year deal contract of over $10 million just to reunite with Doc Rivers and with roughly $7 million left on his contract a return for next season would be his retirement tour as well. However, Pierce stated on the team’s website that he is still contemplating on whether he will jump into retirement.
“Right now, it’s 50-50. I don’t want to make an emotional decision. We’ll see how I feel when I wake up. If I don’t feel that feel that fire’s not there, then it’s going to be tough (to keep playing),” Pierce said minutes after their Games Six losses.
A part of him does want to give it one last ride, but his body is not in sync with what he thinks, especially when he wants emotional after their lost to the Portland Trailblazers in the first round of the Playoffs. He explains that the very nature of a player after losing is to come back and get back in rhythm to bounce from that setback.
Even Clippers coach Doc Rivers could not make any statement as to whether Pierce should retire and added that the Oakland, California native will have tough choices to make, but he hopes that when Pierce decides it would come from his heart and be influenced by outside forces.
“I think he has another season in him, but the key is where he wants to be, health-wise, and how he felt during the season. I can’t figure that one out. I mean, he’ll ask me what I think, but that’s a decision Paul’s going to have to make. I think that players thinking about retirement have to come to that conclusion themselves because it’s so personal,” Rivers explained.
The truth of the matter is that Pierce signed with the Clippers not only to reunite with Rivers, who had their championship runs back with the Boston Celtics, he also wanted another championship to run with Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, but things did go as planned with serious injuries along the way and losing the postseason makes Pierce weighs in things on whether he should come back for another one or is it time to walk away from the sport?
Rivers has already stated that he wants all of his players back for next season and if Pierce opts for retirement, which he has until October to decide, it would do well also for the Clippers as they are trying to add more pieces, either through trades or through the draft, to their puzzle of getting that elusive crown. It will be worth the wait for Pierce announcement since his career has so many footnotes in the making for a Hall of Fame stature.
Paul Pierce was crying after the game. He said he's had his heart broken 17 times.
— Anne M. Peterson (@AnnieMPeterson) April 30, 2016
Photo Courtesy: Los Angeles Clippers @LAClippers/Twitter