Many had long guessed Paul Pierce might close his illustrious career back home in Los Angeles, especially once his former coach Doc Rivers left the Celtics for the Clippers. It looked unlikely when the team elected to sign Spencer Hawes instead, leaving Pierce to sign with the Wizards, but a year later, he and the Clippers rekindled talks and reached an agreement.
At Clippers media day, Pierce alluded to L.A. being his last stop:
Paul Pierce: "This year, If we win a championship…I'll probably be done with basketball."
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) September 25, 2015
Nearly 38 and set to accept a bench role for the first time ever, Pierce seems to be at peace with the arrival of the final chapters of his time in the league. Though long past his prime, he can still be a very impactful player in stretches, as he showed in last year’s playoffs, in which his insertion as a small ball power forward flummoxed the Raptors and his clutch shooting hurt the Hawks.
If the Clippers can win the title and send Pierce out on top, he could join the short list of Hall of Famers in any sport to retire on his own terms and as a legitimate difference maker even in the twilight of his career.