Would Paul Pierce ever play in another uniform? Would he ever even think about it?
He did this past offseason. The thoughts were almost forced upon him, in a way; there was so much uncertainty surrounding the Celtics after their Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Heat.
"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 Kevin Garnett gonna retire? Are we gonna rebuild? Am I gonna be playing somewhere else? A lot of things went through my head."
Pierce said they weren't passing thoughts, either. The questions and doubts lingered, and the Celtics captain wondered if his time in Boston might be over.
"It really did cross my mind," Pierce said. "The way last year went with the trade rumors, the possibility of me being traded the possibility of us rebuilding, it was hard not to think about it, sometimes it wears on you mentally because you can't know what your future is gonna be or what's gonna be your next step.
"I'm in a position to where I really didn't wanna be part of being in a rebuilding situation, especially after playing over the last five years on teams that were capable of winning a championship. At this point of my career, I only have a few years left, you want to maximize those years."
But the Celtics decided to make another run. They kept Garnett. They kept Pierce. They added Jason Terry and Courtney Lee. Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green are back. They have a chance to make some noise in 2012-13, and Pierce can't picture himself anywhere else.
"I was telling somebody the other day I'm pretty much institutionalized in Boston," Pierce said. "If I went somewhere else I couldn't see it. Hopefully I can be here a lot longer than even my playing days. Just to help along with coaching and management, I've really given some thought to that, giving back to what the game has given to me. And I hope I can continue to do that in Boston."