But Pierce has some career issues of his own to consider down the line. He, too, can opt out of his final contract year and hit the market. And that fact is a secondary reason why he wants the current crew of Celtics to have a big postseason. Pierce is hopeful that team management will feel the need to simply tweak the lineup rather than perform major surgery.
"No man, really," Pierce said, settling back into serious mode. "I'm not thinking about playing anywhere else. This is where I've been my whole career. But honestly, it'd be a tough decision for me to make if Doc decides to step down and we rebuild."
"I really can't picture myself playing for another coach and trying to do it all it over again," Pierce said. "We've developed something good over all the years of being together.
"After the season I'll see what he's thinking. I've still got some years left in me. I hope he does, too."
"I think I'm at a point in my career where it would be tough for me to go into a full-on rebuilding phase," Pierce said. "That'd be tough just mentally and physically. I can't see myself doing that anymore. That's why this is so important."
If you think back to when Doc first arrived here back in 2004, he and Pierce didn't exactly see eye-to-eye, so this really speaks to how far their relationship has come in the six seasons they've spent together. It makes sense, too. Six years is a long time. It gets to the point where you just assume the same people will show up, year after year. Regardless of how you feel about Doc as a coach, it is kind of weird thinking about not seeing him on that bench. Not quite as weird as seeing Paul Pierce in another team's uniform, but still.