Amar'e Stoudemire wanted to retire as a member of the Phoenix Suns but he didn't have the interest of the franchise in order to get it done. He decided to retire with the New York Knicks instead, rejoining his second NBA home for a day and then announcing his retirement. If and when Paul Pierce decides to hang up the basketball shoes and move on from the NBA, he won't have that problem doing the same thing with the Boston Celtics.
Even though he plays for Doc Rivers on the Los Angeles Clippers, there are plans to make sure he retires as a Celtic. Rivers said as much on The Vertical Podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski this week. The Clippers will make sure Pierce is released from his contract if he retires before it's up in 2018, so that he can retire as a member of the Celtics on a one-day contract. It's merely ceremonial but it's something they want to make sure gets done.
(Via Chris Forsberg)
"If Paul decides to retire, then we're going to make sure that Boston picks him up for one day and he retires a Celtic, because that's what he should retire as," Rivers said during the podcast released Thursday. "So we have all that in place. We just don't know what he's going to do."
Added Rivers: "I think Paul's going back and forth on it, and I want to give him room. I think he deserves it. From a team perspective, you would love that he made his decision eight weeks ago. I think there are certain guys that you just have to give time to, and Paul's one of them."
It's been weird seeing Pierce in anything but a Celtics jersey, so this seems like a great plan. The Celtics traded him in 2013 in order to fleece the Brooklyn Nets out of a lot of high draft picks down the road. Pierce played two seasons with the Nets before going to the Washington Wizards for one season. He then signed a three-year deal with the Clippers last summer but hasn't made a decision yet on whether or not he'll retire this summer. He's been 50-50 on the matter, despite some reports that he's probably coming back.
You have to wonder if he's waiting to see whether or not Kevin Garnett will also retire. That would allow them to go into the Hall of Fame together in five years, which makes sense considering their time together in Boston was their most successful stretches of those Hall of Fame campaigns.