Paul Pierce’s future as a member of the Washington Wizards – and the NBA, for that matter – has been fuzzy ever since his team bowed out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The rumors connecting him to the Clippers won’t go away, but Pierce’s post-game remarks following the Semifinals series loss to Atlanta indicated he could also be seriously considering retirement.
Time has a way of sorting things out, though. Speaking with SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio on Friday, Pierce sounded like he had recovered from the heartbreak of defeat, both physically and emotionally, and might even be considering a return to Washington. Here’s a portion of Pierce’s comments, courtesy of Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post:
“Man, it was a good run,” Pierce began. “We really have a really good young team, and a couple budding superstars. It was tough. It especially really hurt us when John [Wall] broke his hand. Even though he came back, that really kind of hurt our rhythm, because we [were] playing so well. We felt like we were the better team if we had stayed healthy, but we lost some heartbreaking games.
“You know how the playoffs are,” Pierce went on. “Every game is close, and it all came down to the end, but I’m happy with the way guys fought. Nobody expected us to beat the Raptors. I thought we were better than Atlanta. We fell up short, but I really like our team, I really like the young budding stars. And we’re definitely disappointed, and would have gave Cleveland probably a better challenge than Atlanta, I think, but it was tough.”
As Steinberg infers, there’s some interesting use of present tense in Pierce’s comments, including a moment when he says he “can still play this game.” That might suggest he’s still interested in playing for the Wizards (or Clippers) in 2015. Pierce said he plans on discussing his future with his family next week while on vacation in Mexico. Keep in mind Pierce has until the end of this month to decide whether or not to exercise his $5.5 million player option for next season
We’ll find out the truth from “The Truth” in earnest, but the future Hall of Famer might not be ready to “call game” just yet.