Paul Pierce was initially drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 10th overall pick of the 1998 draft and after spending 15 years with the same team he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. He admitted that he would have liked to have retired with the Celtics, but said that he likes that he’s now a Net because it puts him in a position to win a championship.
“It’s tough when you’ve been in a situation like me for 15 years and then you come to an organization like the Brooklyn Nets,” Pierce said. “But if you look at what they’re trying to do here, win a championship, bring in the pieces necessary, it really brings a little bit of excitement. Obviously I would have loved to have ended my career in boston, but that day in age where a lot of players play their entire careers in one city is over.
“When the trade happened you feel excited especially with Kevin and Jason coming along,” he said. “It made the situation a little more comfortable and the ultimate drive is to win a championship. Obviously Boston is going in a different direction. We’re championship driven, we’ve made a lot of money in our careers, a lot of awards, and at this point in our careers it’s all about winning a championship and Brooklyn gives us the best opportunity.”
Unlike Garnett, who could have used his no-trade clause to veto the deal, Pierce had no say over the trade. However, he explained that he knew it was coming and was able to mentally prepare himself for it and it sounds like it made the entire process a little easier. Still, he had that look in his eye that he really didn’t know what was going on or what to expect.
“You sorta kinda felt it coming,” Pierce said. “You know, I think the writing was on the wall. Especially when we saw what was going on all summer with Doc Rivers, you figure if Doc is going to be leaving you think that this is going to be the end of the era of me, (Kevin Garnett) and (Rajon Rondo) together, and (Jason Terry) obviously. Those were the little signs and I kind of mentally prepared myself for it to move on. It’s different.
The entire thing seemed to especially dawn on him when he was discussing finding a place to live. You could see it in his face and you can read it in his words as well.
“When you live in one place five minutes from the practice facility and now you have to make and adjustment,” he said. “Hour drive to practice, probably a two hour drive to the game. It’s definitely going to be a big adjustment. It’s sinking in and I’m liking what I’m feeling right now.
“It hasn’t really sunk in. I think it’s starting to sink in as we speak just being here in this arena. I saw my jersey in the locker room. You saw the trade and you’re like ‘ok there was a trade’ but for me to actually be here now looking for a place to live, being in this arena, trying to get to know my way around the city, it’s really starting to sink in. I know it’s real. I’m no longer a Boston Celtic, I’m a Brooklyn Net and that’s what it is right now. I just have to move on.
“I’m here trying to create some kind of legacy here in Brooklyn.”
It might sounds like Pierce isn’t overly enthusiastic about being in Brooklyn, but after the press conference ended, he actually discussed trying to talk Garnett into the deal. Although, he added, that KG’s initial reaction to everything is ‘No.’