Paul Pierce: Possible Garden finale to deliver 'special feeling'

BOSTON -- Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce said Wednesday's game against the Boston Celtics could be his final visit to TD Garden, hinting that he is pondering retirement after the 2015-16 season.

"It could be," Pierce, 38, said when asked if the game would be his last in Boston. "I'm not 100 percent sure, but, like I've been saying the last two years, I'm taking it year by year, but this could possibly be."

Pierce, now in his 18th season, signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract with the Clippers in July. He is averaging a career-low 5.7 points on 34.3 percent shooting this season, playing 17.6 minutes per game in 47 appearances, including 21 starts.

Pierce spent the first 15 years of his career with the Celtics and won NBA title with them in 2008.

"It's always special to step in the Garden," Pierce said. "This is the bulk of my career. You spend 15 years here, make so many memories, win a championship here. It's a special feeling, special fans, special building. I'll always savor the moments when I can step on this court."

When Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett, Pierce's teammate on Boston's 2008 title team and the player he was traded with to Brooklyn in July 2013, visited TD Garden in December, he was similarly noncommittal when asked if this would be his final season.

Pierce said he talks to Garnett often, but even he can't get any hints on Garnett's plans.

"Usually we talk about family," Pierce said. "Kevin's doing good. I always ask him if this it is for him. He's still undecided. But Kevin said he's going to retire the last five years in a row, and he's come back. I don't know what he's planning."

There was some buzz in Boston that Pierce might have been considering a homecoming this summer before electing to join coach Doc Rivers with the Clippers. Pierce threw some cold water on that notion Wednesday.

"I did run into [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] this summer, and you know he always welcomes me back with open arms," Pierce said. "But I think, for the most part, my family wanted to be around the other family members -- everybody knows I'm from Los Angeles -- where my kids can just be around their grandmas and uncles and stuff. And also the familiarity of being with Doc, and also to have a chance to play with a team that's a contender. You factor all those things in, and that all went to my decision."

Pierce said talks never got serious with Boston.

"Not so much," Pierce said. "The Celtics were a rebuilding team, young and up-and-coming. I think my career here ran its course. I had a great career here -- 15 long years. What more could you ask for? And to win a championship here, I've had my time here."