Doc Rivers: Paul Pierce is still unsure if he’ll play next year
Former Boston Celtics and current Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers recently revealed that Boston legend Paul Pierce is still undecided about if he will play his 19th NBA season in the 2016-2017 campaign.
Rivers, who was back in Boston to host an ABCD Hoops Dream fundraiser at the TD Garden, believes that the current Clipper is going back and forth with his decision on a daily basis, per ESPN’s Chris Forsberg:
“Depends on the day I talk to him. Paul has had the summer, he’s gone back and forth,” Rivers said. “I think he has a right to do that. I really do. Paul didn’t have the best year last year. I don’t think he wants to go out that way. So I think that’s why he’s working to try to come back. But he still may change his mind next week. So we just have to wait.”
Rivers made it clear that he plans to talk to Pierce again this week but doesn’t expect an answer until closer to training camp, when they will really need an answer from the future Hall Of Famer:
“I told him if I see him at training camp, I’m assuming he’s playing,” he said.
Due to his connection with the Celtics and their fans, Rivers stressed that he believes it would be best that Pierce retires in green, revealing that he and [Celtics’ President Of Basketball Operations] Danny Ainge have already made plans to sign a one-day contract in Boston, should Pierce make the decision to retire:
“I think it’s important. I think we have to do that. And I think we will. Danny and [assistant general manager] Mike [Zarren], we’ve already talked. The day [Pierce] 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.”
While it’s unusual for a team to wait around for a player’s commitment for an entire summer, Rivers understands the difficult decision that Pierce has to make and clearly believes that ‘The Truth’, who won a title under the tutelage of Rivers in ’08, has earned the right to carefully select his next step.