Paul Pierce has two years remaining on his three-year, $10 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, but is 38 years old and coming off the worst season of his 18-year NBA career.
On Wednesday night, the Celtics legend told the Boston Globe that he’ll decide on his NBA future in the next few weeks, and that if he does come back, it will be for only one season:
“Well, we always say it’s 51-49. I get 51 percent of the vote and the rest of [the family] gets 49,” he said. “[My wife’s] input carried a lot of weight. We’ll figure out some things. I know I don’t want to be sitting at home, whatever I do, regardless. If I come back, it will be one more [season] and that will be it. No doubt.”
“Really, it’s all about how I feel mentally, getting up and I’m thinking about the grind,” he said. “People don’t understand, I think a lot of guys retire because of what it takes to [get on the court] each season. You can take the grind once you are in it, but getting ready for the grind is the hard part.”
Pierce adds that knowing more on what his role with the Clippers would be will impact his decision:
“I thought I had one more good year [this past season], but obviously I didn’t like how it all went with my role,” he said. “I’m still just trying to figure it out. A lot has got to do with my role I’m going to play. To come back and sit 82 games, I don’t know if I can do that.”
And it’s hard to see Pierce’s role changing much in Los Angeles. He shot just 36.1% from the field this past season, and isn’t going to bring much on the defensive end at this point of his career. Also consider that the Clippers are going to have to run the floor to play with teams like the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference. Pierce, at this stage, is not built for that kind of game.
So, if it’s really going to come down to the Clippers’ planned role for Pierce, he may have played his last game in what’s been a fantastic NBA career.