The next three seasons were supposed to be a transitional phase for the Celtics where they would reload on the fly and start the process of becoming Rondo’s team. That all fell apart following Rondo’s ACL tear, an injury he may not fully recover from until the 2014-15 season. Management will ultimately make the decision on where the team goes from here, but Paul Pierce told the Herald’s Steve Bulpett that he’s not interested in another rebuild:
“I’m at the point in my career where I’ve got to evaluate it each and every year,” Pierce said. “It’s all based on the situation and based on what I want out of this game still. I mean, I’ve still got a lot of love for the game. I’m still very motivated. But there’s other factors.
“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.
“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.
It’s true that many great players changed uniforms at the tail end of their careers (Jordan, Pippen, Malone, etc.) and rarely does it have any significant impact on that player’s legacy. At the same time, for Pierce to finish his career having only played for one team in todays NBA would be incredibly special. The trade deadline is still two weeks away, but I doubt Pierce is moved unless this team completely falls apart. For now, I think Pierce has his eye on this season:
“I honestly feel this team could do something special beyond what anybody could probably believe. I feel like the talent that’s in this room, based on when I look at the East — even with the circumstances with the injuries — can still win. When I see how we play against a Miami and I see how we play vs. the Clippers and just what we’ve got, I still feel like we can compete with anybody in the league.
“You know, this could be one of those special stories that come around every so many years.”
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