BOSTON (CBS) — Despite a season-ending injury to Rajon Rondo and shaky play through the first half of the season, Celtics captain Paul Pierce remains optimistic about the outlook for his team.
His vision beyond this season, though, is sure to catch Celtics fans by surprise.
Pierce spoke candidly with the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett, and while he said he thinks this year’s squad can “do something special beyond what anybody could probably believe,” he pulled no punches when it came to potentially being part of a rebuilding season next year.
“I really don’t want to be part of a rebuilding situation again,” said the 35-year-old Pierce. “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.”
Pierce has been with the Celtics since being drafted by the team 10th overall in 1998. He’s experienced the highs, including being named Finals MVP in 2008, as well as the lows, like the season before, when he missed much of the year due to injury as the Celtics compiled a 24-58 record.
He is currently signed through next season, when he’s slated to make $15.3 million, and he’s said countless times over the years that he wants to retire with the Celtics.
However, when that may happen and if it happens at all will depend on the way Danny Ainge builds his team next season.
“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,” Pierce told Bulpett. “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.”