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LeBron James Says Paul Pierce's 'Next Stop Is the Hall of Fame' After Retirement

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30:  Paul Pierce #34 of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on during the second half of Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Utah Jazz  at Staples Center at Staples Center on April 30, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

LeBron James spoke about Paul Pierce's retirement on Monday, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN, saying of the Los Angeles Clippers veteran, "His next stop is the Hall of Fame."

Pierce announced in September that he would retire following the 2016-17 season. The Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Utah Jazz in Game 7 of their first-round series on Sunday evening.

"I really enjoyed myself with this group this year," Pierce said on Sunday, per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. "Regardless of what happened today with the basketball, I’m happy... What’s 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."

Pierce, 39, wasn't a major contributor for the Clippers this past season, averaging just 3.2 points in 11.1 minutes per game over 25 contests. He also appeared in each of the Clippers' postseason games, posting 3.0 points in 14.5 minutes per game.

"Paul Pierce just means the world to me," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. "I love him. He allowed me to coach him without question. We won a world championship together. He means the world to me. He is one of the great ones. He is one of the great winners. One of the more clutch players. Paul is about as clutch as any player that I’ve ever been around."

As LeBron stated, Pierce is a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame. His 26,397 career points are the 15th most in NBA history. He was a 10-time All-Star and the 2007-08 NBA Finals MVP, leading the Celtics to a title that season. 

Pierce seemed at peace with his decision and, even in retirement, plans to keep basketball as a part of his life.

"You know it’s going to end one day," he told Spears. "I just felt like this is the right time. My body and mind, having that still intact. My kids and family. In some capacity, I will be a part of the game. Maybe front office. TV. I still love this game, talking about it and being around it."