Paul Pierce expressed a desire to create a “legacy here in Brooklyn” as he was introduced along with fellow former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry on Thursday at the Barclays Center.
The players, officially traded from the Celtics last week, were welcomed to New York and met the media and some fans alongside new Nets coach Jason Kidd and general manager Billy King. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov stopped by at the end of the press conference.
Pierce lamented having to leave Boston after spend the first 15 years of his NBA career with the Celtics, but he said he was pleased to have another opportunity to compete for a title.
“It’s tough when you’ve been in a situation like me for 15 years and you come to an organization such as the Brooklyn Nets. But when you look at it, what they’re trying to do here, win a championship, bring in the pieces necessary, new arena, new owners, new excitement — it really brings a little bit of excitement,” he said.
“Obviously I would have loved to end my career in Boston. But that day and age is probably over with with a lot of players ending their careers in one city. When the trade happened, you felt excited, especially with Kevin and Jason coming along. That will make the situation — not only for me, but each other — more comfortable.
“The ultimate drive is winning a championship. Obviously Boston is going in a different direction. And at this point in our careers, we’re championship-driven. We’ve made a lot of money in our careers, we’ve won a number of awards. I think at this point right now we’re all about winning a championship. And Brooklyn, we feel, gives us the best opportunity.”
Garnett waived his no-trade clause to accept the move, which he said he did only after he “sat down and let the dust sort of settle” so that he could make his decision “with a clear mind and a clear head of what I wanted to do.”
“It’s unfortunate we had to obviously move from Boston,” Garnett said. “But I felt like both sides are going in different directions. For me, one of the major reasons I decided to come here was because the bones of this — I feel like adding what you see up here with the bones of what they have already, with Brook [Lopez] and Deron [Williams] and all the pieces they have here, Joe [Johnson] — I feel like Paul said, this gives us the best option to win again, to win it all. I’m embracing this opportunity, my family’s embracing this opportunity. I’m looking forward to it.”
Pierce added that he’s just starting to get used to being a member of a different franchise, with Thursday providing a sobering effect.
“It hasn’t really sunk in. I think it’s really starting to sink in as we speak, just being in this arena,” he said. “I saw my jersey up in the locker room, and it’s like — you saw the trade, and it’s like, ‘OK, there’s 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 now that it’s become real. I’m no longer a Boston Celtic. I’m a Brooklyn Net. That’s what it is right now. It’s business. At some point we all have to move on. I’m here to try to create some kind of legacy here in Brooklyn.”
When Doc Rivers departed for the Clippers, Pierce said he sensed a roster change was on its way.
“You sort of kind of felt it coming. I think the writing was on the wall,” he said. “Especially when you saw what was going on all summer with Doc Rivers, you figured if Doc was going to be leaving this was probably going to be the end of the era of me, Kevin and [Rajon] Rondo together, and Jason, obviously.
“Those were the little signs. From that I kind of mentally prepared myself for it, for a move on. It’s difficult. You’ve been in one place your whole life. …. It’s definitely going to be a huge adjustment. It’s sinking in, and I’m liking what I feel right now.”
The Celtics won a title the first year after Garnett and Ray Allen joined Pierce in Boston in 2007-08. Pierce said the Nets have the talent to compete for a championship, assuming they can figure out how to jell.
“With me, Kevin and JET, along with Jason [Kidd], we don’t have any egos. We want to be one of those [contending] teams,” Pierce said. “We feel like with the talent we’ve got, we’re definitely going to compete in the Eastern Conference and hopefully the championship.”
Added Pierce: “We understand sacrifice. We feel like the guys that are here — Deron, Brook — we want them to continue to be there, and we want them to continue to be All-Stars, possible even MVP candidates. We’re here to help them. We’re here to help each other to get that ultimate goal. As the players we are, we feel like we have no choice but to make this work. So, we’re going to figure it out and make it work.”
For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.
Greg and Steve give their final thoughts and predictions for what is about to go down at MetLife Stadium today.
Curran calls the guys to discuss the game today and gets into the effect of having no Edelman. He talks about Amendola's role, the Pats running game and more.
The boys give the list of inactive players for the Pats today and what they mean for today’s game. They also look ahead to what is on the horizon for New England.
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Jon talks about his experiences with free agency, what it would have taken to sign him to the Red Sox last season, and his experiences with fans since signing with the Cubs.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.
The boys are back at it, Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher and new Chicago Cub Jon Lester, they then talk with new Red Sox pitcher and ongoing consumer of gluten, Wade Miley.
Pierre joins the show to talk about the Bruins-Wild game, Bruins trade rumors, and the rest of the NHL.
Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
Curtis spoke with some nut jobs outside the courtroom.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Jeff Goodman discussed the Rondo trade.
Christian quizzes Lou and Tim on which songs were used for torture by the CIA, and Tim is upset he couldn't remember Team America: World Police
Adam Schefter, ESPN, joins MFB to discuss Jim Harbaugh rumors, Rex Ryan's future, and why the Patriots may be better served by not wraping up the number one seed in the AFC this week
Christian shares what he believes will be the three keys to this Sunday's game against the New York Jets
We check in with the playmaker, the hall of famer Michael Irvin for a look at the NFL and all things Patriots as they prepare to face the Jets.
Dale and Michael discuss the trade of Rajon Rondo, and whether it ultimately was a good deal for the Celtics.
We break down Rex and the Jets vs the Patriots with CSNNE's Tom E Curran
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
Jen Royle joins the show to talk about The Taste and what its like working with amazing chefs and how her personality is going over with viewers.
What should Danny Ainge do with these Celtics? Is Anthony Davis the second best player in the NBA? Are the Warriors truly contenders?
Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy joins DJ to discuss the "uncoachable(?)" Taylor Hall and revisit the Tyler Seguin trade. Ryan also shares his issues with how the Bruins are run.
Adam Schefter, ESPN, joins MFB to discuss Jim Harbaugh rumors, Rex Ryan's future, and why the Patriots may be better served by not wraping up the number one seed in the AFC this weekMore from this show
Dale and Michael are live on the air as the Rondo deal goes down.More from this show