WALTHAM, Mass. — Mickael Pietrus watched LeBron James and the Miami Heat cruise to victory in five games over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals, but the free agent swingman never stopped to wonder, "What if?"
What if the ball had bounced Boston's way just a couple more times, and Pietrus and the Celtics had outlasted the Heat in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals? What if, rather than being well into his rehab after undergoing right knee surgery two weeks ago, Pietrus was in the early days of his recovery from the surgery, which he would have had to delay until after the Celtics finished their own championship run?
Fans might agonize over such a possibility, but Pietrus tried not to.
"I only think about the Celtics," Pietrus said Wednesday at the Celtics' practice facility. "I don't want to think about South Beach or any stuff like that. It was fun for them. I didn't win anything, so I look forward to competing against them next year again and trying to win one myself, with my teammates. We had a great run. Nobody was expecting us to be at this point."
Pietrus, who is a free agent, reiterated his desire to re-sign with the Celtics. He repeatedly called Boston "home" and said he planned to attend Thursday's draft party at the TD Garden. He and fellow free agent Kevin Garnett have talked, Pietrus said, and each player expressed his desire to see the other back in Boston next season.
Pietrus did not sport any noticeable limp on his surgically repaired knee. He said he has been working out at the Celtics' facility and does not expect it to suffer any lingering effects when camp opens this fall.
"MP's going to be back flying again," Pietrus said with a smile.
Always a social media maven, Pietrus has received a flood of tweets from fans who want to see him back in a Celtics uniform. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is not on Twitter, so Pietrus could not retweet the fans' sentiments to his would-be boss.
"All the fans on Twitter want me to be back, so if it was up to the fans I would be a five-year or 10-year Celtic, but it's not up to them," Pietrus said. "It's not up to me, too. Hopefully, my agent [William McCandless] and Danny are going to work out a deal and I'll be a Celtic forever."
Pietrus has found his home, and hopes to stay there.