Once Paul Pierce hangs it up, Doc Rivers can’t imagine The Truth retiring as anything but a Celtic.
Pierce, 38, has yet to decide if he’ll return for a 19th season in the NBA (though Rivers insists that the veteran forward has something left in the tank.)
Nearly a decade after he worried about their closing window, Doc Rivers thinks his old Big Three can still play: https://t.co/HkMvZYtErw
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) September 6, 2016
Rivers won a title in Boston in 2008, and still believes the C’s famed Big Three of Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen—all of whom have uncertain basketball futures—can still hoop.
“Depends on the day I talk to him. Paul has had the summer, he’s gone back and forth,” Rivers said while back in Boston to host the annual ABCD Hoops Dream fundraiser at TD Garden. “I think he has a right to do that. I really do. […] Paul didn’t have the best year last year. I don’t think he wants to go out that way. So I think that’s why he’s working to try to come back. But he still may change his mind next week. So we just have to wait. I told him if I see him at training camp, I’m assuming he’s playing.”
Rivers reaffirmed that, should Pierce choose to retire, he’ll encourage him to sign a one-day contract with the Boston Celtics in order to retire as a member of the Celtics organization. […] “I think it’s important. I think we have to do that. And I think we will,” Rivers said. “[Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] and [assistant general manager] Mike [Zarren], we’ve already talked. The day [Pierce] retires, he’s going to retire a Celtic. He has to. Paul’s a Celtic. So when he retires, he’s got to retire as a Celtic. I don’t think anyone disagrees with me.”
“I don’t know. I won’t talk about what we talked about. I think if Ray was in the right spot, he may play,” said Rivers. “I think Ray wants to golf a lot too, right now. But Ray is in amazing shape. I don’t know how he does that. I didn’t know how he does that as a player; I don’t know how he does it as a non-player. He’s probably in top-5 shape in the NBA. So could Ray play? Absolutely, I believe he could.”
“I think Kevin — and I know it, because I talk to him — loves the young guys on his team,” Rivers said. “He loves how they work. He thinks they have an old-school mentality. So I think he’s really gotten into Kevin, the teacher. And I honestly never saw that coming, either. Yet he was a phenomenal teacher with [Boston]; I just didn’t think he would have the patience to do it. And I think Kevin loves teaching these young guys.”