Things you don't hear anymore in these parts: People questioning if the Wizards made the right decision by signing Paul Pierce last summer.
Things you will hear often whenever the Wizards' season end: People asking if Paul Pierce will remain in Washington next season.
"It's been nothing but love from the time I got off the airplane in the summer," Pierce told Comcast SportsNet's Chris Miller about his time with the Wizards.
Pierce explained that playing in D.C. is special for him as it allows the veteran to work with young players like Bradley Beal, John Wall and Otto Porter.
"I feel like even if it's one year, two years, or three years I'm here, I feel like I'm going to have a relationship with these guys for a long, long time even after basketball," Pierce said. "It seems like we connect, and I connected with the city."
Pierce signed a two-year deal with the Wizards last July, many months before he became a local legend for his various truth-bombs during the playoffs. However, the second year of his contract is a player option. The veteran forward and future Hall of Famer turns 38 in October, meaning he's well into the back-nine of his career. Therefore, playing for a second NBA championship - he won one with the Celtics in 2008 - likely trumps just about everything else on his to-do list.
Sure, the Wizards are on roll during the current postseason even with Tuesday's Game 2 loss in Atlanta. That's the not the same as being a true title contender, not yet anyway. Recall the Wizards labored over the final two-plus months of the regular season. Pierce initially wanted to reunite with his former Boston head coach Doc Rivers in Los Angeles with the Clippers. Put that altogether and there is (was?) genuine wonder about where Pierce sets up shop next season.
But based on Pierce's comments to Miller, apparently there is nothing to fret about in this regard. Playing for the Wizards fans, and with the Wizards young players, has been a joy for Pierce.
"They've embraced me, and I've embraced them. It's been fun."
Pierce mentioned two or three more years in Washington, which would run through the 2016-17 season. His presence would have no financial impact on the Wizards possibly landing Kevin Durant during free agency of 2016. The assumption has been Pierce serves as a bridge until Washington makes a play for and hopefully reels in Durant.
Maybe that's been wrong, just like perhaps there's been little reason to worry about whether Pierce returns next season.