He’s going to evaluate his situation again in the offseason, but 38 year old Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce is considering playing next year.
One of the newest members of the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul Pierce, quite frankly looks defeated by Father Time. If the poor start he’s had is any indication, it looks like this season should certainly be his last. Of course he can play longer if he wants to (he currently has a three-year contract with the Clippers), but there’s a major difference between being able to play and dragging your career out. Unfortunately for Pierce, it looks like the latter may be the case after this season.
While he hasn’t implied that he’s coming back, he certainly hasn’t 100 percent ruled it out yet. Which, considering his sudden struggles as a 38 year old, is a little surprising. According to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register, he’s just taking things year-to-year and will consider his retirement again in the offseason.
He has plenty of time to consider what he wants to do, though, and he’ll likely change his mind and go back and forth throughout this season. Although, after admitting that retirement first crossed his mind last year, it’s only more likely he’ll be tempted to call it quits the more often it enters his mind.
As Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times has reported, Pierce said this week that the older you get and the less you can do on the court, the more you start thinking about retirement:
For one thing, Pierce said he wouldn’t decide whether this is his last season until the summer, depriving him of an extended goodbye if he decides to call it a career. Pierce admitted the thought had crossed his mind amid what has easily been the worst stretch of his career.
“The older you get and the less and less you’re able to do things that you could do before,” the 38-year-old said, “you start thinking about maybe it’s that time.”
We’re only a quarter of the way through the season, so the Clippers and their fans will still be hoping that Pierce can find The Truth and emerge for some good shooting nights and make a few clutch buckets when the team need them most. There’s got to still be a bit of that in him somewhere, and there’s time for him to at least find a good shooting stroke from beyond the arc even if he can’t do anything else.
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Whether or not that happens is yet to be seen, though. As of right now, age has got the best of Pierce. Not just with his 29.7 percent shooting and 24.4 percent three point shot, but with his defense. On the perimeter he’s been far too slow to matchup with more athletic players, and he’s abused in the paint when he moves to the four in small-ball lineups. Overall, that leads to opponents scoring an entire 8.6 more points per 100 possessions when he’s in the game.
Of course it will be great for the Clippers if the old Paul Pierce emerges some time, yet it can’t be denied that he’s been one of their worst players so far.
Any basketball fan knows how great Pierce has been throughout his career, and he’s bought so much to the game and especially the Boston Celtics, but it’s better for him to end it if this season continues to be a struggle rather than forcing out another difficult year. And as he’ll likely come to that realization over the coming months, it’s hard to think he’ll spend too much time making a decision next summer.
Even if his last ride doesn’t end in a championship, it’s for the best.