04 March 2012: Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers talks to Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) during the Boston Celtics 115-111 (OT) victory over the New York Knicks at the TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. (Mark Halmas/Icon Sportswire)

Monday, September 26

Paul Pierce announced early Monday morning that the 2016-17 season will be his last. A video was published by The Players’ Tribune on Twitter with Pierce delivering the announcement, and the Truth is at peace with his decision.

“Just like any difficult decision, I think you’ve got to be at peace with yourself. I’m at peace with retiring, but I’ve got one more ride left. One more season. One more opportunity.”

Pierce was born in Oakland but grew up in Inglewood, a city just southwest of downtown Los Angeles. Inglewood was also home to The Forum, where the Los Angeles Lakers played from 1967-99.

As a member of the Clippers, Pierce has a chance to contend in his last season as a pro. They aren’t the deepest team in the league, but the Clippers have enough firepower to make noise in the playoffs, and that’s something that the Truth couldn’t pass up.

Now that the world knows Pierce is saying goodbye, how will his contemporaries bid him farewell?

Wednesday, September 7

At 38-years-old, Father Time is gaining on the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul Pierce. When the season rolls around, Pierce will be 39 and enter his 19th season in the NBA. There is, however, speculation that he’s leaning toward playing one more season in Hollywood, and ESPN’s Chris Forsberg caught up with Clippers coach Doc Rivers to discuss the small forward’s future.

“Depends on the day I talk to him. Paul has had the summer, he’s gone back and forth. 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. I told him if I see him at training camp, I’m assuming he’s playing.”

Rivers then spoke about how he feels that “Paul can play,” despite the 6’7 forward coming off the worst statistical season of his career. In 68 contests last season, the Truth averaged just 6.1 points on 36.3 percent shooting and 2.7 rebounds in 18 minutes a night. Since Pierce is getting up in age, retirement talks are starting to come out.

To Doc, there’s no debating what team he’ll end his career with:

“I think it’s important. I think we have to do that. And I think we will. [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] 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.”

It would be absurd to see Paul Pierce retire with any organization that isn’t Boston’s. He had fantastic success during his 15-year run in Beantown, including ten All-Star selections, four All-NBA teams, and finishing as one of the greatest Celtics ever. Truth cracks the top ten on multiple Celtic leaderboards including points (24,021, second), steals (1,583, first), and assists (4,305, fifth).

His teams in Boston appeared in the playoffs ten times and were crowned NBA champions in 2008 after beating the Lakers in six games, and Pierce was named Finals MVP after averaging 21.8 points, 4.5 boards, and 6.3 assists.

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference

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