Paul Pierce’s struggles with social media and the internet in general is not lost on NBA fans.
At 39, Pierce is an elder-statesman in the NBA, and it certainly shows when he tries to navigate Twitter or other apps. So when the Clippers forward was shown during TNT’s coverage of All-Star Weekend Saturday holding up two phones at the same time, it led to some hilarious captions.
“It’s going to be emotional, just knowing this is the last time I’m going to be in the Garden as a player,” Pierce said Friday. “So just stepping on the court and thinking about all the fans that kind of grew with me, all the people I had a chance to establish relationships with over the years. It’s going to be fun, but emotional.”
Pierce is expecting a low-key weekend in the city he knows so well and won a title in.
“I’ll probably hit a couple of restaurants, a few places I used to always go to after games, just kind of ride around the city,” Pierce said. “I’m going to bring my wife with me. We had a chance to spend a lot of time out there, too, so see some old friends, maybe go for a walk in a park.”
Pierce plans to retire as a Celtic when he calls it a day at season’s end. He is without a doubt a Celtics legend, ranking third in team history in games played and second in total points scored. Expect him to receive a very warm reception on Sunday.
Chris Paul had a little fun with Paul Pierce after the veteran wasn’t able to convert a dunk attempt.
During Tuesday’s game between the Nets and Clippers, Paul led a fast break with Pierce trailing. Paul found Pierce with a behind-the-back pass and the veteran forward went up for a dunk to finish the play. However, Pierce was fouled by Randy Foye and missed the dunk. Pierce ended up on the floor on his back. That’s when Paul pretended to give his teammate CPR, to the delight of the broadcast team.
If Pierce doesn’t get the nudge to the back, he very well could have converted the dunk. Since he didn’t, we have this moment to re-watch and enjoy. So, thank you Randy Foye. Without you, this wouldn’t be possible
Pierce was drafted by the Celtics in 1998 and played there for 15 seasons, earning Finals MVP honors during the team’s 2008 championship run. He is the Celtics’ second all-time leading scorer and was the undisputed face of Boston basketball for the better part of the 2000s.
After an offseason where we witnessed Kobe Bryant retire with the Los Angeles Lakers, Tim Duncan retire with the San Antonio Spurs, and Pierce’s former teammate Kevin Garnett retire with the Minnesota Timberwolves, this sort of exit just feels right for Pierce.
“It’s time to move on from the game of basketball,” he wrote. “Just like any difficult decision, I think you’ve got to be at peace with yourself. I’m at peace with retiring, but I’ve got one more ride left. One more season. One more opportunity.
“With the Clippers, in the city where I grew up, I feel like I have that opportunity on a great team. We’re hungry. We want to win a championship.”
Pierce played sparingly last season, averaging just 6.1 points while playing 18.1 minutes per game — both career-lows by a wide margin. He’ll turn 39 in October, and he is obviously fine with being more of a role player under Doc Rivers.
“After 18 NBA years, it’s hard to believe I’ll be playing in each arena for the last time,” Pierce continued. “So I’m going to enjoy every practice, every bus ride, every team dinner, every time running out through the tunnel. I’m going to do my part to give us a shot at the ultimate goal.”
Paul Pierce has yet to make an official decision on whether he will play one more season. If he does retire, the Los Angeles Clippers will let him join the Boston Celtics first.
In an appearance on “The Vertical Podcast with Woj” this week, Clippers head coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers said there is already a plan in place that will allow Pierce to retire as a Celtic.
“If Paul decides to retire then we’re going to make sure that Boston picks him up for one day and he retires a Celtic because that’s what he should retire as,” Rivers said, as transcribed by Jay King of MassLive.com. “So we have all that in place. We just don’t know what he’s going to do.”
Rivers said the Clippers want to give Pierce some space as he mulls his decision. If he does retire, Rivers said this summer could be classified as “the greatest retirement summer in NBA history” with Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan already having called it a career. Kevin Garnett is also undecided.
The most recent reports have claimed Pierce plans to return for his 19th season. After what he said about Kevin Durant, we’d hate to see the Clippers play the Golden State Warriors without him.
Pierce turns 39 in October and this would be his 19th NBA season. Pierce signed a 3-year deal prior to last season and jumped from the Washington Wizards to the Clippers to play under his former coach with the Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers. He is set to make $3.5 million in 2016-17.
Pierce averaged 6.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and an assist in 18.2 minutes per game last season. He better be coming back because after what he said about Kevin Durant, he needs to face the Warriors on the court.
Expect Pierce to play a bit part role with limited minutes, just as he did last season. The 38-year-old played just over 18 minutes per game in 2015-16, contributing 6.1 points per game to the Clippers’ cause.
Kevin Durant knew fans were going to blast him for taking the easy way out when he signed with the Golden State Warriors, but how do his fellow players feel about it? Some are probably happy for Durant while others share Paul Pierce’s opinion.
Shortly after Durant announced his decision, Pierce sent this not-so-subtle tweet:
If anyone has earned the right to make a comment like that, it’s Pierce. The veteran small forward stuck it out for years with some truly horrible Boston Celtics teams before he was rewarded with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen as teammates in 2007. Pierce took advantage of the opportunity, bringing a championship to Boston that season.
Perhaps Pierce saw this old tweet that Durant sent and felt inclined to throw some shade his way. Pierce wasn’t the first to criticize Durant and he certainly won’t be the last.