Say it ain't so Truth!
Paul Pierce, pretty much out of nowhere, broached the topic of his potential retirement at the end of this season.
He then laughed, making it seem he was perhaps kidding. But he didn’t step back when asked about it further. "You never know, man," Pierce said. "I don’t know. I’ve got to preserve my body for the rest of my life." Hit with the basic John McEnroe line — you cannot be serious — he shook his head. "I don’t know," said the second-leading scorer in Celtics history. "I’ve thought about it. I don’t know. I’ve got to see how my summer goes with my kids."
He went on to say that he doesn't play for money. I think it is clear that he must have learned not to follow in his former teammate Antoine Walker's footsteps financially. So he should, by all accounts, be set up for life.
Not sure how much of this happens still, but at one point in recent years he was draining a lot of fluid out of his knee on a regular basis. Clearly he's seen retired players in their 40s and 50s walking everywhere with a limp because of their playing days and maybe he just doesn't want to go through that. Nobody could blame him.
Or maybe it is just something a little more to do with the future of the team. I find it hard to believe he'd walk away if it looked like Danny was going to reload with a good player or two and bring back much of the core of the current team. On the other hand, if it turned out to be a bit of a rebuilding process, or even a bridge year or two, maybe he wouldn't necessarily want to sign up for more wear and tear on his body just to go through the motions and "teach the kids." He could easily become an assistant coach if that's all he wanted to do.
From the team's standpoint, I suppose they could amnesty his contract. Either way, if he walked away I believe there are options to reduce his salary if he doesn't play in more than 50% of the games in a year (or something like that) and those would trigger and the team would save a lot of cap room.
All of this would make a great deal more sense if the team was still spiraling toward mediocrity like they were a few months back. With the team making another run with the current core, it is much harder to wrap our minds around. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Or maybe, just maybe, Paul was trying a little motivational psychology to make sure that the team remembers that this might just be their last shot together. Regardless, it is a good reminder to me and the rest of Celtics nation to enjoy these moments while they last.