Paul Pierce Says He Will Retire a Celtic After 2016-17 Season
Update: Wednesday, October 12, 3:35 p.m.
In an interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Paul Pierce said he plans to sign a contract with the Celtics next summer, so that he may retire where he spent his first 15 seasons. He added that he owes it to Boston fans to end his long, illustrious career here.
The one-of-a-kind, emoji-botchin’ Paul Pierce is calling it quits after this season.
Pierce, who played for the Celtics from 1998 to 2013, announced his coming retirement on the Players’ Tribune, the same place Red Sox slugger David Ortiz made public his departure in a high-contrast, black-and-white confessional.
“I realize that it’s time to move on from the game of basketball,” Pierce said. “It’s as tough a decision as I’ve ever had to make in my life, but this is it: my final season.”
Pierce, 38, was part of Boston’s Big Three alongside Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, and helped hoist Banner 17 to the Garden rafters in 2008. Boston has occupied a special spot in The Truth’s heart, even as he’s moved on to stints with the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, and the Los Angeles Clippers, his current team.
“I think I’ve had an illustrious career. I’m very satisfied with the work that I’ve been able to do over the past 18 years, and I realize that you can’t play forever. This is a young man’s game,” Pierce said.
Earlier this month, Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who coached Pierce in Boston, said there’s already talk between the two clubs about No. 34 retiring a Celtic.
“I think it’s important,” Rivers told reporters. “I think we have to do that. And I think we will. Danny [Ainge] and Mike [Zarren], we’ve already talked. The day he retires he’s going to retire a Celtic. He has to. Paul’s a Celtic. So when he retires he’s got to retire as a Celtic. I don’t think anyone disagrees with me.”
Garnett announced his more immediate retirement on Friday, capping a surefire Hall of Fame career at 1,462 games, good for fifth all-time.
“I’m just thankful, man,” Garnett said in a video posted to his Instagram account. “I can’t ever put that into words. I’m just thankful. I’m just thankful for everybody and the love. I never would have thought that people loved me like this. But for it to be reality is something else. We’re going to be all right, man.”