Retiring with a certain team is important to NBA players. According to ESPN, Paul Pierce will be retiring with the Boston Celtics. There are already plans in place to ensure that happens whenever the six-foot-seven small forward decides that he is ready to walk away from the National Basketball Association.
As of right now, Paul Pierce has not made a decision on his professional basketball future. There is a part of him that feels that it might be time to call it quits. However, it is really hard for these guys to walk away from the NBA because it was a life-long dream.
Should Paul Pierce feel that he can no longer contribute to an NBA team, Los Angeles Clippers president Doc Rivers already has ways to get him back with the Boston Celtics. Rivers did not reveal details, but it should be noted that Pierce is still under contract with the Clippers for another two seasons.
Doc Rivers is making sure Paul Pierce can retire a Celtic. pic.twitter.com/JwU5BxrbFU
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 29, 2016
To his credit, Doc Rivers is not pressuring Paul Pierce for a decision. Usually, NBA teams want to be notified as soon as possible so that they can plan ahead of time. However, Rivers and Pierce share a mutual respect, so there is no pressure.
Of course, it makes it easier for Doc Rivers to be patient with the decision because Paul Pierce is no longer the dominant player that he used to be. The Los Angeles Clippers do not need to go out of their way to find a replacement in case he retires.
If Paul Pierce is no longer around, the Los Angeles Clippers have a couple of options in-house as replacements. Wesley Johnson and Luc Mbah a Moute are veterans who are both capable of starting at small forward. The Clippers also drafted Brice Johnson with the 25th overall selection in the NBA Draft earlier this year.
In the NBA, Paul Pierce has played with four separate teams. He’s been with the Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets, and Los Angeles Clippers. Stints with the Nets, Clippers, and Wizards were short. Since he played 15 years with the Celtics, it makes all the sense in the world that Pierce would want to retire with them.
Longevity isn’t the only thing that makes Paul Pierce important to the Boston Celtics. He brought another NBA Championship to the storied franchise. Pierce was also the Finals MVP that year. When it comes to scoring, only the legendary John Havlicek has more points for the Celtics.
If Paul Pierce stays in the NBA, it will be because he wants a legitimate chance at winning a second championship. If he does not feel that the Los Angeles Clippers can get past the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, then he will be more inclined to retire.
The Golden State Warriors raised the stakes a bit when they surprised the NBA by stealing Kevin Durant away from the Oklahoma City Thunder. That shifted the balance of powers even more so towards the Warriors than before. They were already the favorites in the Western Conference before adding Durant.
Closely trailing behind the Golden State Warriors are the San Antonio Spurs. Although they lost the legendary Tim Duncan to retirement, they still remain one of the deepest teams in the NBA by acquiring the services of Pau Gasol and David West. The two veteran big men should help keep the front court strong.
Paul Pierce has a very big decision to make about his NBA career, but he needs not worry whatsoever about which team uniform that he will be wearing when he does decide to walk away.
[Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images]