Paul Pierce is back for his 15th season in the NBA all with the Celtics.
But the way his 14th season ended undoubtedly hurt an Eastern Conference Finals exit at the hands of the Heat.
What's more, Pierce had no idea what to expect going forward. He spoke with CSNNE's Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman about the things going through his mind once the season ended.
"It was difficult not only losing, but not understanding what was next," Pierce said. "A lot of that went in my head after we lost. It was like, 'Is KG going to retire? Are we going to build? Am I going to be playing somewhere else?' It was just a lot of things went through my head."
But Pierce wouldn't have left Boston, would he?
"It really did cross my mind because of the way things went with the trade rumors, the possibility of me being traded, possibility of us rebuilding. It's like, it was hard not to think about that. Sometimes it wears on your mentally. You don't know what your future is going to be or what's your next step."
That's fair, but come on Paul you couldn't reallllly see yourself on another team, right?
"It would be difficult," he admitted. "I was telling somebody the other day that I was pretty much institutionalized. If I go anywhere else I couldn't see it."
Watch the highlights of the Boston Celtics 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks, and hear from head coach Brad Stevens and Celtics own Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas.
BOSTON – Wednesday’s 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks was the fifth time in the last six games that Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley was out because of a right Achilles injury.
Well, it appears the 6-foot-2 guard may miss a few more with this injury.
“I can see him missing a little more time,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said following Wednesday’s loss. “I just think maybe he came back a little bit too early, whatever the case may be.”
Bradley was expected to play against the Knicks, but was a last-minute scratch.
Celtics big man Al Horford said he didn’t find out Bradley was out until the team was on the floor doing pre-game warmups and he didn’t see him.
“He was really sore,” Stevens said of Bradley. “Went through our walk-through and then came on to the court and did some stuff and was more sore today than he has been. I think he did treatment the whole game.”
This latest setback for Bradley is part of a growing narrative that has dogged him throughout his career which has included him missing games to injury in each of his six-plus NBA seasons.
Bradley came into this season once again hoping to be as injury-free as possible, only to see that dream dashed with this right Achilles strain he's suffering with currently.
Still, there’s no downplaying the significance and value the Celtics have in the 26-year-old. This season, he is second on the Celtics in scoring at 17.7 points per game and leads them in rebounds with 6.9 per game with both being career highs. In addition, he averages just under 35 minutes per game which is also tops on the team.
Marcus Smart has been Stevens’ choice to replace Bradley in the starting lineup when Bradley has been unavailable, and that’s not likely to change between now and Saturday’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.