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Paul Pierce, Doc Rivers conflict on future of Boston Celtics

Paul Pierce is already talking about the uncertainty that lies ahead for the Boston Celtics after this season, while Doc Rivers just wants to focus on the task at hand. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Five

Paul Pierce, the Boston Celtics small forward and arguably the most visible face for the franchise since Larry Bird, hinted Monday that this could be the last stand for an aging core that includes himself, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports reported on Monday that Pierce wonders if this will be his last opportunity to play with the current roster:

Paul Pierce believes this could be the last stand for the current Celtics. “Who knows if we’re going to get this opportunity again? Who knows what they’re going to do with the team next year?’’

This mindset is a stark contrast from the mentality Celtics coach Doc Rivers is trying to instill during these playoffs, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski following the Celtics series-clinching win Saturday night in Boston against the Philadelphia 76'ers. According to Wojnarowski, Rivers said he won't use that speculative, what-happens-next type of talk around his players at this juncture and is more focused on the task at hand, which right now is preparing for  Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat on Monday night:

When you start thinking about breaking something up, retiring, then you're thinking about the end and not the present. And I think that this team needs to be in the now, with each other. We don't know what will happen next year, but I just think that it's important that this team thinks about trying to win now – not because this may be it. Because when you start thinking that way, you let go of the rope."