Pierce says he wants a chance to get another ring, whether in Boston or elsewhere
Paul Pierce wants no part of being part of another rebuilding team. Ideally he'd like to get a 2nd championship in Boston, but if that doesn't look likely, he's more than willing to compete for his 2nd title elsewhere. In a very open and revealing interview with the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett, Pierce let his feelings be known.
“I want an opportunity to at least try to win another championship, simple and plain. And if that’s not going to be here — if that’s going to be somewhere else — so be it. That’s what it has to be. I mean, even the greatest players played for other franchises.
“And sometimes it’s not about the player; it’s about the franchise moving forward and doing what they feel is best for them. And players have their agendas, too, as far as older players as they wind down their career wanting to finish on successful teams.”
Pierce has threatened to retire at season's end if the Celtics go into a rebuilding mode, but I doubt very much if he does that. He has too much left in the tank to retire. He'll be playing next year whether it's in Boston or elsewhere.
“I mean, I really don’t want to be part of a rebuilding situation again. I just think at this point in time that’s something that would wear on me too much mentally that I don’t know what decision I may make if I have to. I may retire if I have to. You know, that’s something that’s a year-end process, especially given the situation that we have right now.”
“It’s all on what they plan on doing,” said Pierce. “If they try to go into a rebuild mode, then, you know, I don’t know if I want to be a part of that. But that’s up to them and what they need to do. I don’t want to go out on a rebuild mode.
What wasn't covered is would Pierce prefer to be on a Boston team that was a playoff team, but not a contender. Most analysts list the current Celtics team as that (many prior to Rondo and Sully's injuries and almost all afterwards). Is Pierce happy right now in Boston or does he see this team not having enough to contend for a title? Would Pierce feel differently if the Celtics could have held on in Game 7 of the 2010 Finals?
I believe that Pierce doesn't like the uncertainty of his Celtics future. He knows he could get traded at any time. He publicly says he understands Danny Ainge keeping his options open, but Pierce has been around long enough to play the leverage game himself. And even though Paul Pierce doesn't have a no-trade clause like Kevin Garnett, he can use the "I'll just retire" carrot to veto a trade to a team he doesn't want to play for. One thing that's for certain is whether Pierce remains with the Celtics past the trade deadline or not, there's no guarantee the NBA uniform Paul Pierce will be wearing next year will be a Celtics one.