Paul Pierce revisits his past in Washington and his future after this season becomes an issue
A “family decision” is what convinced Paul Pierce to return home to Southern California to play for the Clippers, and the same family considerations will determine whether he retires after this season or continues playing.
Pierce’s future became a topic Monday night because he was facing the Washington Wizards for the first time since he left them after one successful season. He was reminded that he considered retiring after Washington lost in the playoffs to the Atlanta Hawks.
Instead, Pierce was persuaded by Clippers Coach Doc Rivers to sign a three-year contract for $10 million.
It didn’t hurt that the two won an NBA championship together with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and that Pierce attended Inglewood High.
“It definitely made it easier being able to have Doc as a coach,” Pierce said after the Clippers’ 108-91 victory, in which he scored nine points. “Being at home around my mother, having my kids be around their cousins and uncles and grandma, especially at this point in my career where this could be the last year. Who knows? I’ll re-evaluate it after this season.”
Pierce, 38, seemed lukewarm on the idea of having a farewell tour like Kobe Bryant is having now with the Lakers.
“I haven’t really thought about that, because this could be it. This is a year-by-year evaluation,” Pierce said, before adding with a laugh, “I’ll go into the summer. I’ll do a summer tour around the local parks [in Inglewood].”
Rivers takes a shot at Dudley
A question about how well Jared Dudley has been playing for the Wizards was the easy setup Rivers needed to take his shot at the former Clippers forward.
Dudley entered Monday night’s game leading the NBA in three-point shooting percentage, making 48.8% of his attempts.
So Rivers was asked if he wished Dudley still played for the Clippers.
“No, I wished he had played that way. He’d still be in L.A.,” Rivers said, smiling. “So you can go either way with that.”
Dudley wasn’t impressive at all against the Clippers, going scoreless and missing all three of his shots.
“But he was injured with us,” Rivers said. “It just didn’t work out.”
Reserve guard Austin Rivers returned after missing the previous three games because of a sprained right ankle He had four points.
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