MIAMI - Paul Pierce could be a one and done in Brooklyn and who knows if Kevin Garnett plans on hanging up his sneakers for good.
Brought here with the sole purpose of instilling a winning attitude in the franchise and contending for a championship before calling it a career, Pierce and Garnett never addressed their status beyond this year all season, choosing to play coy about their futures. But now that their season came to a grinding halt Wednesday night after the Nets' crushing 96-94 loss to the Heat in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, their situations step to the front.
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While Garnett, 37, didn't speak publicly following the game, Pierce was noncommittal. The soon-to-be unrestricted free agent plans on mulling his choices before making a decision.
"I haven't really put any thought into it," Pierce said. "I put my whole focus into this season. I know it was my last year of the contract. Like I said, I'm going to sit back and talk to the family and see where my options are from there and go from there and see what's best not only for me but for my family."
Garnett has one year valued at $12 million on his pact, but after averaging career lows in every major statistical category and missing 19 games with back spasms, who knows if he still wants to play. But Pierce made it clear that he isn't about to call it a career just yet.
"I think I still have something in the tank I can give a team," Pierce said. "Maybe one or two [years] at the most, and I'll see where I'm at."
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade actually credited Pierce and Garnett as the reasons for some of their success these last few seasons. This after Wade said earlier in the series that he thought he had buried the former Celtics.
"When I was in Cleveland that was a hump I couldn't get over," James said. "And I knew from that point I needed some help. I've seen the way they played the game with Ray and Paul and KG and Rondo and the chemistry those guys had and the weapons they had. I knew from that point that I needed some help because I felt like I would face those guys.
"I don't know if they thought I would go seek help. But I did."
Wade also threw a bouquet of roses at Pierce and Garnett.
"For me to be in this position today, those guys challenged me and they helped me become the person and player I am today," Wade said. "It helped our team become a team because they challenge you with so many facets. Even as weird as it is, seeing them in black and white, you still see green on them.
"You still see green on Paul. You still see green on KG. And those guys have a championship DNA, and to be able to compete with those guys in a series is the ultimate for a competitor."