Paul Pierce talked to Greg Dickerson after his camp the other day… and he says this is very likely his last contract in the NBA.
"I think this is going to be it for me," said Pierce. "After these three or four years that I'm going to play, then I think that's going to be it for the game of basketball. I put so much into this game. As far as retiring from the NBA, I think I will be done after this contract because, eventually, I want to go overseas and play and live for a couple of years. That's why this is a big contract for me, knowing I'm going to retire a Boston Celtic. I want to go to either Italy or Greece for a year. I think I want to be able to bring my family over to just kind of share a different experience overseas for a couple of years, before I settle into retirement."
I know what you're saying… "3 or 4 years" Paul?
Yup… because as Chris Forsberg points out… Pierce might not play the full 4 years.
The final season is only $4 million guaranteed, becoming $5 million if Pierce participates in 50 percent of Boston's games (regular season and playoffs) over the preceding three seasons, according to a note on the site. The deal is fully guaranteed if Pierce is not waived on or before June 30, 2013.
The language suggests the Celtics can swallow what would likely be a $5 million cap hit for the 2013-14 season in order to allow Pierce to ride off into the sunset a little earlier. Pierce will be 35 after that 2012-13 campaign with 15 seasons of NBA mileage on his tires.
Follow that link for the full contract breakdown.
This isn't the first time Pierce has talked about playing ball overseas for a couple of years after his NBA career is over. I guess for him it'd sort of be a paid vacation. It'll be a little weird watching him play in that Olympiakos jersey (even though Panathanaikos make more aesthetic sense… I'm an Olympiakos fan). But if that's what he wants to do… then good for him. The seasons are much less grueling over there, and he'd instantly be the biggest star in the league. Plus… spending a couple of years living near some of the most amazing beaches in the world isn't a bad thing.
H/T CelticsBlog for the CSN interview