I was just thinking how hard it must be for the players to hear all this trade talk and hear it straight from Danny Ainge that we're not going to be sacrificing future assets to help the team in the here and now. I mean, this is their last swing for the fences and the aren't likely going to be getting much in terms of a cavalry. Still, that doesn't seem to bother Pierce much.
Pierce fully expects to play beyond this season, but he knows things with the Celts are bound to change dramatically next year. And he seems fairly resigned to the realities. He is not angry. "Well, you know, obviously we’re not fine where we are, but sometimes you get put in a position where there’s nothing out there that can help," Pierce said. "It’s a difficult job being a GM. "In a perfect world you’d get the guys that you want, but in this business you’ve got to make crucial decisions for now and tomorrow and for the future."
With the deadline approaching and much more discussion being about the end of the Big 3 era than any hope of winning titles within that era, you'd forgive Paul Pierce if he started thinking about hanging it up with the other guys and calling it a career. Aside from the millions of dollars giving him ample reason to put the retirement plans on hold, it sounds like he just wants to play ball.
I think he'll be sad when the rebuilding process begins, but he's had a long career, he got his ring, and I could see him evolving into a mentor/father-figure to the new/young guys in the next couple of years. There are certainly worse things to do for a living, especially considering the paycheck he'll be collecting.
Update - missed this yesterday:
"You ask anybody in the league who's been somewhere as long as I have, why wouldn't they [want to stay]?" Pierce said. "But at the end of the day I know it's a business. There's only so much I control. "Shaq's been traded; everybody's been traded. I don't know if anything is in anybody's hands. "I've heard it put out there that if Danny Ainge gets the opportunity, [a trade] can happen. So I'm not in a situation like Steve Nash where it's only if he requests it. That wasn't said to me. That's what it is."