Add Paul Pierce to the growing—almost full?—list of NBA players from the 1990s calling it a career. Following the retirements of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett in 2016, Pierce just revealed that the 2016-17 NBA season, his 19th, will be his last one in the NBA. He made his announcement through a short letter on The Players' Tribune.
"This is it, my final season," Pierce wrote. "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."
Pierce's decision is based around him making one more run at a championship with a Clippers team that brought him in before last season to be a veteran leader with title-winning experience. "With the Clippers, in the city where I grew up, I feel like I have that opportunity on a great team," he wrote. "We're hungry. We want to win a championship."
After being drafted 10th overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Celtics, Pierce spent the first 15 years of his career with Boston. He won a championship—and an NBA Finals MVP—with the Celtics in 2008. After that, he spent one season in Brooklyn with the Nets and one season in Washington with the Wizards, and he will cap his career off by spending two seasons in Los Angeles with the Clippers. During his career, he has averaged 20.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and currently sits at 16th on the all-time scoring list. Pierce has made 10 All-Star teams, and though it sounds incredibly optimistic to think the Clippers will send him out with a title, Pierce will almost certainly be enshrined in the Hall of Fame just a few years down the road.