In June, 18-year NBA veteran Paul Pierce explained that if he decided to return to the Los Angeles Clippers, it would only be for one more season. Pierce said that he was “51-49” on returning for one season over retiring (excerpt via Boston Globe):
“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.”
Well, it looks like that 51% won out, as Pierce plans to return for one more season according to the Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner:
Paul Pierce is planning on returning to the Clippers for the 2016-17 season, his 19th in the NBA, per source.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) July 27, 2016
Now there’s this side of it: Do the Clippers actually want Pierce back? The unfortunate truth, about “The Truth”, is that he’s 38 years old and coming off a miserable 2015-16 season with the Clippers. He shot just 36.3% from the field, and averaged 6.1 points in 18.1 minutes per game. This not anywhere near the Paul Pierce we think of when we hear the name Paul Pierce.
But, the Clippers may value Pierce’s veteran leadership, and may think he can be a bit better than he was last season to provide a decent option off the bench.