Pierce Wants To Finish Career Back Home In LA
LOS ANGELES – Paul Pierce is back home, and while Boston is where he built his legacy, it’s Los Angeles where he wants to cap off his illustrious playing career.
About to enter his 18th professional season, Pierce wants another championship. He believes he can compete for one now in Los Angeles, where his former head coach, Doc Rivers, has tried to reunite with him before.
The pitch finally worked, as the Inglewood High School star has returned home. And the 37-year-old forward doesn’t plan on leaving.
“This is probably the last ride of my career,” Pierce said Tuesday during the Clippers’ free-agent signing press conference. “I think this is where I’m going to end it, so I’m going to go all in. And if we can win a championship here for the Clippers, this will be everything for me.”
Pierce called joining the Clippers “a tremendous opportunity” and “a dream come true” after growing up in the city. He said he always wanted to play in his hometown with a chance to win a title, and now it’s possible.
Rivers knows the value of adding a player of Paul’s caliber both on and off the court. Together, the duo understands what it takes to win a title, as they attempt to work that magic once again for a new team after completing the feat in Boston.
“I’m at the point in my career where it’s winding down,” Pierce said. “I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I want another opportunity to win a championship. I thought just being here would be a great fit.
“I’m a veteran. I could be another voice for the locker room, and I could just pretty much fill any role they need me to play, whether it’s in the locker room, on the court, as three-man, four-man, team leader…I feel I can just be that, kind of like a, glue guy.”
Pierce spent the first 15 years of his career with the Celtics, cementing his status as one of the league’s most clutch performers, becoming NBA Finals MVP in 2008 while playing for Rivers and averaging at least 20 points per game in eight of his seasons in Boston.
“I played with Doc longer than any coach I ever played for in my career,” Pierce said. “Definitely comfortable being around him, being with him. So that really helps out, especially when you go into a new situation, being around things you’re comfortable with.”
He has a coach he’s comfortable with and surroundings he’s familiar with in Los Angeles, where Pierce grew up and said he had a chance to watch the Clippers get to the point they’re at today, progressing into a first-class organization capable of winning a championship.
Pierce said sometimes things don’t work out the way a person wants them to, and it took a couple years after leaving Boston for him to finally rejoin his former coach and return home to Los Angeles. But he likes the timing of this decision and the important thing for Pierce is that he’s here now.
“Would have loved to have been here last year,” Pierce said. “But, like I said, had a chance to go to Washington. That was a great experience for me, and I think things really happen for a reason. I think this is the right timing. Perfect opportunity here today, and I’m glad to say I’m a Clipper.”
Pierce added that it’s great to be home playing in front of family and friends, but if he didn’t think the Clippers could win it all today, he would’ve gone a different direction.
“I’m here with the same goal in mind that everybody else’s goal is, and that’s to win the championship,” Pierce said. “Truthfully, if I didn’t think the Clippers were close, then no matter home or not, I probably wouldn’t have made this decision.”