Paul Pierce penned an emotional letter to The Player’s Tribune Monday morning, (Sept 26) announcing that his 2016 season with the Los Angeles Clippers will indeed be his last ride in an illustrious 18 year NBA career. The former Celtic’s announcement comes on the heels of former teammate Kevin Garnett retiring just three days ago (Sept 23), as well the 16-year anniversary of Pierce being stabbed 11 times in a night club. Many didn’t know if he would play another minute, he suited up all 82 games that next season and went on to Celtics immortality, living up to his nickname as “The Truth”.
The 38-year-old admitted, “This is it, my final season. It’s time to move on from the game of basketball. Just like any difficult decision, I think you’ve got to be at peace with yourself. I’m at peace with retiring, but I’ve got one more ride left. One more season. One more opportunity.”
“The Truth” continued saying, “With the Clippers, in the city where I grew up, I feel like I have that opportunity on a great team. We’re hungry. We want to win a championship. After 18 NBA years, it’s hard to believe I’ll be playing in each arena for the last time. So I’m going to enjoy every practice, every bus ride, every team dinner, every time running out through the tunnel. I’m going to do my part to give us a shot at the ultimate goal.”
Check out the 1998 draftee’s message to the fans in a heartfelt video below.
The NBA will never be the same with legends like Garnett, Kobe, and Duncan walking away from the game. Pierce’s name will eventually be added to that list, but not until after the upcoming NBA season. Enjoy the last ride Paul!