Youth is key in basketball and when you feel you can’t compete, you retire and enjoy from the sidelines. Paul Pierce wants one last season, before calling it quits.
We had Bryant retiring at the end of last season, then Tim Duncan followed, then Kevin Garnett. Next season, LA Clippers forward and former Celtics man leads the way.
Pierce who will be 39 by October, was not decided on returning for the 2016-17 season. But unfinished play-off business with the Blazers stayed his decision, as he wants to try for one more ring.
“This is it, my final season,” He said. “It’s time to move on from the game of basketball. 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.”
“I think why not give it one more shot, especially the way we went out of the playoffs, the injuries,” Pierce said at Clippers media day Monday. “Obviously, you’ve got to be good, you’ve got to be lucky, but I just want to just give it one more shot.
“Like I said, to win a championship here for the Los Angeles Clippers would be monumental, and if I can be a part of that, that’s something I thought about, and that’s something that drove me from August, starting in August on.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers addressed Pierce’s decision to make this season his last as an NBA player.
“Paul has meant a lot to me, obviously,” said Rivers, who won an NBA title with Pierce in Boston in 2008. “When you win a title with someone, just like him and KG [Kevin Garnett] and the whole group, you’re connected with that person, those people for the rest of your lives, and you should be.”
Earlier this month, Rivers said Pierce was on the fence about returning for another season but that he believed Pierce has something left in the tank.
Pierce played the first 15 seasons of his career in Boston, nine of them for Rivers.