Los Angeles Clippers’ forward Paul Pierce announced via the Players’ Tribune back in September that the upcoming season will be his last in the NBA. In an appearance on Sirius XM NBA Radio on Wednesday, Pierce told Justin Termine that he plans to retire as a Boston Celtic:
Paul Pierce confirmed to us on @SiriusXMNBA that he'll retire as a Celtic after the season… Said he owes it to himself and the fans.
— Justin Termine (@TermineRadio) October 12, 2016
Pierce is set to finish his 19th season in the NBA, the first 15 of which came in a Celtics’ uniform. Boston drafted Pierce out of Kansas 10th overall back in 1998 and he made all 10 of his All-Star appearances while with the team. He won his only NBA title with Boston in 2008. He ranks second in Celtics’ franchise history in points, fourth in games played, sixth in assists and seventh in rebounds.
The 38-year-old has averaged 20 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists over the course of his career as he is one of just five active players to have been drafted in the 1990s. Andre Miller was also drafted in 1999, but he is currently a free agent and said earlier in the summer that he is likely to retire.
In addition to the Celtics and Clippers, Pierce also played a season with the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards. He initially put off retirement in order to sign a three-year deal in 2015 to reunite with his old head coach in Doc Rivers. Last season was his worst statistical season by a wide margin, as he averaged just 6.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in about 18 minutes per game for the Clippers.
The Clippers have retooled their second unit prior to the upcoming season, meaning Pierce will likely have a very limited role once again. Los Angeles opens their regular season on October 27 against the Portland Trail Blazers.