CAMBRIDGE Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce was the last player to arrive for Saturday's charity basketball game on the campus of Harvard University.
Thankfully this wasn't Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals and Pierce wasn't wheeled in on a wheel chair. He was just a little late. Hard to blame him as he's had a lot on his mind, including some legit concerns about the impact of the lockout on the C's core group.
"We're not getting any younger. KG (Kevin Garnett) and Ray are on the last year of their deals," Pierce said. "So we don't really know the future after this year, especially with those two guys. Who knows what direction the team is going to go in after that? That's a huge concern."
So is the fact that we don't have an NBA season, something that doesn't appear to be on the verge of changing anytime soon.
After several bargaining sessions, the union eventually filed a disclaimer of interest earlier this month and have moved the back-and-fourth tussle between the players and owners, into courtrooms with anti-trust lawsuits filed in Minnesota and California.
Pierce acknowledged the decision made by the union to file a disclaimer of interest, was unexpected.
"The one kind of took me by surprise, they vote to break up the union," Pierce said. "A lot of that really took me by surprise, but I don't think it was mentioned to bring to the whole body, to the whole union, to take a vote on it. It was just players representatives get a vote."
Pierce said the last proposal offer from the NBA was a bad deal which made turning it down an easy option.
However, that should not be interpreted as if he's not eager to return to work.
"Right now, I want to get a deal (done)," Pierce said. "I want to play. I don't have too many more years left, but we want the right deal. That's the most important thing."