Catching up with Paul Pierce

“Paul Pierce is a Celtic” is about as undisputed a statement as it gets. In his second season away from the Celtics, he still finds a way to link himself back to the organization, be it weighing in on the current state of the green or about what the future may hold for him once his playing days are over.

After finishing the season series with the Celtics on Sunday, Paul Pierce spoke candidly with The Boston Herald about Rajon Rondo’s exit from Boston and what doors remain open to him after playing in Boston for 15 years.

On The Rondo Trade:

“I was a little bit surprised, especially because trade season starts close to All-Star or after All-Star break,” Pierce said. “Not a lot of trades happen in mid-December. You know, teams are trying to find their stride. “But we had a chance to talk. We had our weekly mass text, and he understood the situation. The Celtics were either going to go in one direction, build around him, or continue with the youth movement. So I think Rondo understood it.

“I was shocked definitely, because I thought this was a year they were going to maybe this summer find some pieces to put around him. But he had a great run in Boston, and as long as he’s happy, that’s all that matters.”

On The Business of Basketball

“And Danny (Ainge, the Celts’ president of basketball operations) and Wyc (Grousbeck, a co-owner), they’ve got to make business moves. You know, ‘Do we pay Rondo for the long term and still not be able to build around him, or do we build around the young guys that we’ve got here.’ It’s a tough decision when you’re in that situation as a general manager or owner.”
“That’s the way it is,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a long time before you see one player stay with one team for 15-plus years. You know, I think those days are pretty much gone, especially with the new collective bargaining agreement, players wanting to be in different places or play with their friends. It’s just a new era I think we’re living in. You’re not going to see one player stay with one franchise I think ever again for that long.”

On His Future:

“I’ll probably go up there this summer after the season and talk to Danny (Ainge, the C’s president of basketball operations), talk to Wyc (Grousbeck, a co-owner), you know, see what opportunities may open when I’m done,” Pierce told the Herald.
“I haven’t had any talks with them about that,” Pierce said, “but, you know, I go up there every summer. I went up there last summer and went to the practice facility. Danny wasn’t there, but hopefully I’ll get to spend some time with him next summer. Who knows? I like to keep my relationships open, especially with the guys in Boston — Wyc, Danny. I may have some business opportunities up there this summer also.”

On Transitioning to Coaching or a Front Office Role:

“I’m not sure, man. I like to keep my options open,” Pierce said. “Coaching could be in my future. I think I still have a lot left to give this game. I always find myself talking to the guys. When we’re going through scouting, I’m giving out pointers. A lot of the assistants say, ‘Man, you’ve got a lot to give this game after you’re done.’ So whether it’s coaching or being a general manager, it’s something I think about. I think it’s something that Kevin (Garnett, his former C’s and Nets teammate) has even thought about. Me and him talked about it. I think he would enjoy coaching. You know, Kevin likes to teach.”

After 17 seasons in the NBA, Pierce is weighing just how much basketball he has left in him. He has a player option for the 2015-16 season, which he may exercise in order to sign a longer term deal with the Wizards, or another team.

“I’m just going to listen to my body,” Pierce said. “Some days are better than others, definitely. But it’s going to be a personal and family decision — even going into this summer.”

Source: Steve Bulpett; Boston Herald, Steve Bullpet; Boston Herald

Photo: AP