We were getting conflicting reports all summer long, but now our long national nightmare is finally over: Paul Pierce, 10x All-Star and 4x All-NBA small forward, is returning to the Clippers for one more season, which will be his last.
He announced his decision this morning on the Player’s Tribune. Unlike some other retiring superstars, he didn’t let us know through his terrible, self-indulgent poetry. He kept things simple and straightforward — the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.
This is it, my final season.
It’s time to move on from the game of basketball.
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.
Many Clippers fans held out hope that he would retire, especially after seeing Kevin Garnett do so a few days prior. But deep down we always knew Pierce wouldn’t want to go out on last year’s painful, disappointing season. Thomas Wood gave us the skinny on what to expect from Pierce this year in his player preview last week.
Although he never provided the on-court impact the Clippers were hoping for, his off-court antics made up for it to some extent (including starting the postgame dance craze that led to so many entertaining moments last season).
Hopefully Doc Rivers is more aware of Pierce’s shortcomings this year, and doesn’t give him such an outsized, undeserved role. It’s much easier to acknowledge Pierce’s greatness and career when he’s sitting on the bench. If you’re listening, Doc: let us cherish Pierce during his farewell tour, don’t give him rotation minutes over a better player and leave us stewing.