Paul Pierce said back in April after the Clippers were eliminated from the postseason that he was 50-50 about returning for another season, and it doesn’t appear that stance has changed. He has yet to decide whether or not he’ll play in 2016/17. However, as he tells Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, when it comes to who’s making that decision on his future, it’s not quite a 50-50 split.
“We always say it’s 51-49. I get 51 percent of the vote and the rest of [the family] gets 49,” Pierce said. “[My wife’s] input carried a lot of weight. We’ll figure out some things. I know I don’t want to be sitting at home, whatever I do, regardless. If I come back, it will be one more [season] and that will be it. No doubt.”
Pierce, who turns 39 in November, remains under contract with the Clippers for the next two seasons, though his 2017/18 salary is mostly non-guaranteed. While it sounds like the veteran forward might like to play one final year, he admitted that all the work that goes into preparing for a new season has worn on him as he nears age 40.
“Really, it’s all about how I feel mentally, getting up and I’m thinking about the grind,” Pierce said. “People don’t understand, I think a lot of guys retire because of what it takes to [get on the court] each season. You can take the grind once you are in it, but getting ready for the grind is the hard part.”
Pierce, who said he spoke to former teammate Kevin Garnett on Tuesday about his decision, figures to make the call in the coming weeks on whether or not to retire. That would give the Clippers a chance to enter the new league year in July knowing whether or not Pierce will be part of their plans for 2016/17.
In his first year in Los Angeles, Pierce struggled, establishing new career lows in points per game (6.1), field goal percentage (.363), PER (8.2), and many other categories.