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.
Paul Pierce still has not decided if he wants to return for his 19th NBA season.
The Clippers forward is reportedly still considering his future, but will apparently be making up his mind within the next few weeks.
Pierce has two years left on his contract he signed last summer. The 38-year-old averaged 6.1 points per game in what was largely a reserve role last season for Los Angeles.
Pierce said immediately after the Clippers’ elimination that he was 50-50 on returning. We’ll find out soon enough which direction he’s gone.
Paul Pierce has two years left on the contract he signed with the Los Angeles Clippers last summer, but he admitted Friday that retirement is playing on his mind.
After the Clippers were eliminated Friday night, Pierce spoke about contemplating retirement, and said that he was going to think long and hard about his future.
“Each and every year for the last couple of years, I’ve thought long and hard about walking way from the game,” Pierce told reporters in a video posted to CSNNW.com. “The process will continue this summer, as I think long and hard, as I step closer to getting older in age, seeing how my body feels, talk to my family. I don’t want to make an emotional decision right now, so I’ll just take some time off, sit down with my family, and really think about it, think long and hard.
“It’s just gotta hit you one day. You know, you just never know, man. You just don’t know, you know what I mean? Right now it’s 50-50. I’ll see how I feel when I wake up, if I feel like getting ready for next season. If I don’t feel that feeling, that fire’s not there, it’s going to be tough.”
Pierce will be 39 in October. He said before the season that he’d retire if the Clippers won it all, but with his age and the toll that basketball has taken on his body, it’s probably not a huge surprise that he’s at least going to give some serious thought to calling it a career.
Now 38, Paul Pierce knows that he simply won’t be able to play the minutes he did when in his prime. He’s comfortable with that, and he understands that the ultimate goal is realistically for him to be healthy and ready to go when playoff time comes. However, Pierce is not sure about a certain other NBA veteran who may also find his role downsized this season.
“That will be tough on some guys in L.A. to take on that role – cough, Kobe, cough,” Pierce said in an appearance on the Fred Roggin Show on Los Angeles’s Beast 980. “I mean, you know, but um, we get older.”
Pierce is making a joke here, but he’s also raising an entirely reasonable question. Bryant is 37 now with a growing injury history, and realistically, the Lakers would be wise to protect their superstar wherever possible. Bryant, however, will definitely want the ball in his hands as much as he can. He’ll be surrounded by a team with a lot of promising young players, and it’s an open question as to how the accomplished superstar in the twilight of his career will cope with the growing pains of the young core around him.
H/T Pro Basketball Talk
Paul Pierce just added some extra incentive to the Los Angeles Clippers to bring home their first NBA championship in franchise history. The veteran says he will “probably” retire if they win it all.
“This year, If we win a championship…I’ll probably be done with basketball,” Pierce said at media day on Friday.
Pierce is 37 years old and nearing the end of his career, which has spanned 17 seasons in the league. He did sign a 3-year, $10.5 million deal with the Clippers, but it doesn’t sound like he plans to fulfill the term of the deal.
Pierce was a stud last season with the Washington Wizards and especially shined in the playoffs. He should be a critical piece for a team that is on the cusp of greatness but has fallen short in the postseason four years in a row. Yet we wouldn’t hold our breath on him retiring after the season, which is both good and bad news for the Clippers.
Paul Pierce threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Los Angeles Dodgers game on Tuesday night in honor of “Clippers Night.” The veteran forward was likely chosen because he is one of the newest members of Doc Rivers’ squad, but he shouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t invited back.
Simply put, Pierce looked like it was the first time he had ever thrown a baseball in his life. This is the face of an embarrassed man, and rightfully so:
We thought the worse pitch from an NBA player at a Dodgers game came courtesy of Nick Young last year, but at least Young’s mechanics were decent. Pierce might want to try throwing left-handed next time.
After spending this past season with the Wizards, Paul Pierce is returning home to play for the Clippers, signing a three-year deal worth $10 million.
Growing up in California, there’s little surprise Pierce was a Lakers fan during his childhood. They had the mystique, storied past, Hall of Famers, and championships while the Clippers were just Los Angeles’ other basketball team. However, instead of choosing the Lakers to spend the final stage of his career with, Pierce opted for the city’s better team.
As it turns out, Pierce’s decision was largely influenced by the team he spent the majority of his career playing for.
“It’s a dream come true to be able to come home, finally,” Pierce told the Boston Globe. “I grew up a Laker fan but playing on all the Boston Celtic teams . . . there’s no way I could go there — so this was the next best choice. And it’s always been a dream to play in front of my family and friends.”
Given his allegiance as a youngster, it may be a bit surprising on the surface to hear Pierce signed with the Clippers. On the other hand, the Lakers-Celtics rivalry is one that goes back to the late 1940s. The two teams have met in the NBA Finals 12 times, including in 2008 when Pierce led the Celtics to their most recent championship.
Although he spent a season with the Nets and one with the Wizards, Paul Pierce will always be remembered as a Celtic. And, considering he was with Boston for 15 years, it’s understandable he couldn’t bring himself to sign with the franchise’s most famous rival.
H/T For The Win
At the ripe age of 37 years old, Wizards forward Paul Pierce is set to test the waters of free agency once again. The 2008 NBA Finals MVP will decline his $5.5 million player option with Washington for the 2015-16 season and become an unrestricted free agent.
The move was expected and Pierce made the announcement official on Saturday morning via The Players’ Tribune.
While it’s impossible for the 17-year veteran to fool himself into thinking that his best days are still ahead of him, Pierce showed with the Wizards last season that he isn’t quite over the hill just yet. Plenty of teams will be lined up for The Truth’s services this summer.
Pierce posted averages of 11.9 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game, and 2.0 assists per game for Washington in 2014-15. He proved himself as a still very capable inside-outside scoring threat (shooting 60.3 percent in the restricted area and 38.9 percent from deep) and a pivotal two-way cog (posting a 103.6 offensive rating and a 98.6 defensive rating on the season). Pierce’s ability to reinvent himself as a small-ball 4 as he ages while still remaining one of the league’s top performers in the clutch (just ask the Atlanta Hawks) almost guarantees that he will have a lot left to offer a contender next season.
The Wizards remain interested in retaining Pierce with GM Ernie Grunfeld saying on Friday, “We want Paul back obviously…It’s his call but if you ask me if we want him back — absolutely.” Washington will be able to offer Pierce up to $6.6 million to stay as well as the chance to continue what he built last season with the exciting young backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Recent reports have also linked Pierce, a California native, to the Los Angeles Clippers who have a void at the starting small forward position after trading Matt Barnes to the Hornets. The Clips can also offer Pierce the chance to reunite with former head coach Doc Rivers. The Clippers appear closer to championship contention right now than the Wizards do and thus present Pierce with an enticing proposition.
And don’t rule out the possibility of a Pierce return to the Boston Celtics, who are said to be pursuing a bizarro Big Three of Kevin Love, Robin Lopez, and Pierce this offseason. The current incarnation of the Celtics provides a high-upside, albeit raw, core of young talent and, of course, the Beantown faithful would welcome home their former favorite son with open arms.
We will know shortly which NBA team is able to handle The Truth.
*All stats courtesy of NBA.com*
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.
Paul Pierce is in control of his future, and he may choose to continue playing basketball with a new team.
Pierce signed with the Washington Wizards as a free agent last year and had an excellent season with them. He fit in seamlessly and provided much-needed leadership that helped the franchise reach the Eastern Conference semifinals in the playoffs. He talked crap, gave his teammates confidence, criticized them and motivated them, and then he delivered by nailing clutch shots in the postseason.
Though Pierce seemed to really enjoy his time with the Wizards, there is speculation that he may opt out of his contract with them (he has a $5.5 million player option) and possibly sign with the Clippers.
From NBA.com’s David Aldridge:
Maybe Paul Pierce will walk away from the second year of his deal ($5.5 million) in Washington in order to finish his career in his hometown, playing for his old Celtics coach and his former teammate-turned-Clippers assistant Sam Cassell for less money.
Washington’s main issue is complacency. The Wizards could stand pat if Pierce decides to return to D.C. next season rather than opt out of his deal, but many around the league believe Pierce will do just that and finish his career back home in Los Angeles with the Clippers.
Keep in mind that this is just speculation from “many around the league” and that there is no source saying Pierce plans to opt out. However, Pierce has said in the past that he really wanted to sign with the Clippers last year and that timing was the only issue. Even though his year in D.C. didn’t seem like it could have gone much better, he might have an urge to return home.
H/T Pro Basketball Talk