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#pounditSunday, March 7, 2021

Paul Pierce: I still feel like I can play this game

Paul Pierce Wizards

Paul Pierce will turn 38 in October, and there has already been speculation that the 2014-2015 season may have been his last. After the Washington Wizards were eliminated from the postseason, Pierce said he “doesn’t have too much of these efforts left, if any.”

Now that he has taken some time to mull over his future, Pierce sounds more open to returning for an 18th NBA season.

“These seasons, as you get older, they just are so long and draining,” he told SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio this week, via Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “This last playoffs really took a lot out of me, not only physically but emotionally, because I think I put so much into the game that it takes a piece of you.

“It’s really all got to do with how my mental state of mind’s gonna be this summer. Because I do feel like I can still play this game. I mean, I showed that this year, that I still have something left in the tank. But it’s just the mental part of getting ready in the summer and getting ready for a long year. Those are the things I’ve got to think about.”

Pierce averaged 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 26.2 minutes per game during the regular season — all career lows. However, he appeared to discover the fountain of youth during the playoffs and contributed 14.6 points per game, made some extremely clutch shots and came less than a second away from extending Washington’s series against the Atlanta Hawks.

Pierce also spent a lot of time in his interview talking about the Wizards’ young core of stars — all in the present tense. He sounded like a man who intends to return next season, at least on the surface.

Of course, there have also been rumors about Pierce playing another season for a different team. Perhaps he feels that staying right where he is gives him the best chance at contending for another title.

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