Basketball

Pierce bids farewell to NBA with no regrets

Paul Pierce said yesterday morning (Singapore time) he departs the NBA with "no regrets" despite the bitter disappointment of the Los Angeles Clippers' first-round play-off loss to the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz clinched Game Seven 104-91 at the Staples Center to win the series 4-3.

"I really enjoyed myself with this group this year. Regardless of what happened today with the basketball, I'm happy," said Pierce.

"What I've been able to accomplish, what I've been able to do with my career, I gave every ounce I could. I have no regrets."

After the retirements of Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan, the NBA is bidding farewell to another star of the 2000s in 39-year-old Pierce, who won a title with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

His bid to recapture that magic with former Celtics coach Doc Rivers at the Clippers - for whom he signed as a free agent in 2015 - didn't pan out.

But he was hailed by his peers as one of the greats.

"Paul Pierce is 'The Truth'," Bryant told The Players' Tribune website - a nod to Pierce's nickname.

A video tribute on the website featured Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Oscar Robertson and an emotional Kevin Garnett, Pierce's teammate in Boston and Brooklyn, among others.

Pierce leaves the game with 26,397 career points, the 15th-most on the league's all-time scoring list.

Yesterday morning, he played 22 minutes, scoring six points and pulling down three rebounds.

In the other game yesterday morning, Isaiah Thomas shook off having a tooth knocked out and the heartache of his sister's funeral to score 33 points, powering the Boston Celtics over Washington Wizards 123-111 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference second-round opener. - AFP

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