Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Pierce talks about uncertain future
By Chris Forsberg
NEW YORK -- Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce said he hasn't spent too much time pondering his future, but with his team fighting to keep its season alive, he acknowledged a murky summer lies ahead.
One thing Pierce knows for sure is that he wants to play at least one more season and he'll examine his future from there. The question is whether he'll be back in Boston for the 2013-14 campaign.
Pierce is scheduled to make $15.3 million in the final year of a four-year, $61.3 million extension inked in 2010. But only $5 million of that is guaranteed, which makes it no guarantee the Celtics bring him back for a 16th season with the team. Boston could also ponder using its amnesty clause if it desired to initiate a roster makeover.
"Truthfully, I haven't put too much thought into [the future]," Pierce said at the team's morning shootaround at Madison Square Garden. The Celtics and Knicks clash in Game 5 of an Eastern Conference first-round series on Wednesday night.
"The organization is going to do what they're going to do. There's nothing that's stressing me out. That's what it is. Every year they've got decisions to make and those are their decisions. So I'll leave it to them."
Pierce said he'll take a hands-off approach with Boston's decision and is at peace with whatever his future holds.
"I've always been a guy that said, 'Things happen for a reason,'" said Pierce. "I was the No. 10 pick [in the 1998 draft], I didn't anticipate that. I've just always felt like, throughout my whole career, everything is going to fall into the right place for me. So I don't really put much thought into after the season. But I know at the end of the day, whatever they do, whatever I do, it's going to fall in the right place for me."
Pierce reaffirmed a desire to play his entire career in Boston and said it's likely that -- one way or another -- he'll finish his career in green.
"Well, I always said I want to end my career as a Celtic," said Pierce. "But they're the ones -- I have a contract for next year, but it's not guaranteed. So the decision is in their hands. Whatever decisions they make, maybe if they trade me somewhere or I end up somewhere else, maybe it can be a situation where I come back for a one-day deal and retire a Celtic."
Pierce's more immediate focus is on Game 5. Boston staved off elimination by winning Game 4 at TD Garden, but the Celtics know New York, which owns a 3-1 series lead, will be looking for a knockout punch Wednesday night on its home turf.
"They're going to amped up, their crowd, they're going to be emotionally into it," said Pierce. "They feel like they've got an opportunity here at home, so I think that's going to be the early focus, to withstand their early run. We know that we're going to take hits, but we've got to be able to hit back in the early stages, and we've got to maintain that through the four quarters."