CLEVELAND — Paul Pierce told the Globe on Wednesday night before Game 3 of the NBA Finals that he hasn't made a decision on whether he will return for a 19th season but will in the next few weeks.
Pierce, 38, has two years remaining on a three-year, $10 million deal with the Clippers but is coming off the worst statistical season of his career. If Pierce does return for the 2016-17 season, he said it certainly will be his last.
"Well, we always say it's 51-49. I get 51 percent of the vote and the rest of [the family] gets 49," he said. "[My wife's] input carried a lot of weight. We'll figure out some things. I know I don't want to be sitting at home, whatever I do, regardless. If I come back, it will be one more [season] and that will be it. No doubt."
Pierce said he feels healthy but preparing for a season has become more difficult.
"Really, it's all about how I feel mentally, getting up and I'm thinking about the grind," he said. "People don't understand, I think a lot of guys retire because of what it takes to [get on the court] each season. You can take the grind once you are in it, but getting ready for the grind is the hard part."
Pierce said he talked with close friend and former teammate Kevin Garnett on Tuesday about his decision. It was a difficult season for Pierce in Los Angeles. He averaged a career-low 6.1 points in just 18 minutes per game, shooting 36.3 percent. Pierce came off the bench for 30 of his 68 games.
"I thought I had one more good year [this past season], but obviously I didn't like how it all went with my role," he said. "I'm still just trying to figure it out. A lot has got to do with my role I'm going to play. To come back and sit 82 games, I don't know if I can do that."