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May 4, 2013

A strange end to a strange Celtics season

Rivers, KG and Pierce could all be gone

(Continued)

Boston has some aging warriors who have to decide if they want to be back and the Celtics have to decide if they want them back.

Oh, yeah, 9th-year coach Doc Rivers was also non-committal about his future. So you could be looking at a Boston team without the three most important Celtics of the last 20 years: Hall of Famer Paul Pierce (15 years, 24,021 points), Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett (18-year veteran, 6 franchise altering years in Boston) and Rivers, who just passed Tommy Heinsohn for No. 2 in Celtic career wins (475 with 416 regular season and 59 playoffs).

The way Rivers worded his comments on KG and himself, it made you think it might be the end of the line for both. Maybe it came out wrong or maybe he was tipping his hand.

He called Garnett, who’ll turn 37 on May 19, “As tough a guy and as tough a competitor as I’ve ever seen. I didn’t want him to go out that way.”

Asked to address his future, Rivers remarked, “I don’t know. I’m under contract. I can’t think about it right now. I don’t know. If I told you right now, I’d say I’m coming back.”

He called Pierce, who turns 36 in October, “One of the greatest Celtics ever. This is a day and a time where players change teams like socks. He chose to stay. ... He wanted to get it done here and he did it.”

Pierce said, “That’s a decision for them to make.”

They and Ray Allen delivered that title in the first year of the New Big 3 and reached the finals in 2010 as well.

Pierce had his struggles this season. Last night would be a tough way to go out: a 4-for-18, 1-of-9 on 3-pointers stinker with five more turnovers.

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