Pierce Ready To Embrace A New Reality

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BROOKLYN, N.Y. –
It’s unclear which idea is easier to believe: A tornado of sharks or Paul Pierce playing for the Brooklyn Nets. The former (“Sharknado”)was just a terrifically bad TV movie, while the latter became one step closer to reality on Thursday as the Nets introduced Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry on the floor of the Barclays Center.

We forget that it was just three years ago that the New Jersey Nets completed one of the worst seasons in NBA history and that the following season, they were starting Travis Outlaw at small forward. Since then, general manager Billy King has turned Devin Harris into Deron Williams, Courtney Lee into Joe Johnson, Outlaw into Pierce, and Kris Humphries into Garnett, all while keeping a young and talented All-Star center in Brook Lopez.

And it’s not like this new team is only five deep. They should have one of the better second units in the league with Terry, Andrei Kirilenko and Andray Blatche also in the fold. And with franchise hero Jason Kidd taking over as coach, Nets fans might feel the need to pinch themselves.

Pierce looked like he needed to do the same. After 15 years with the Boston Celtics, the idea of playing for another franchise was not easy to swallow. And it was clearly written on his face as he sat on that dais that he wasn’t 100 percent ready to start repping Brooklyn. As evidenced by the amount of Boston media that made the trip down, this day was almost as much about the end of an era in Boston it was about the superteam that Nets have put together.

But it was Pierce who sold Garnett – over a 90-minute phone call – on the idea making this change. He knew where the Celtics were heading when they were discussing Doc Rivers‘ departure earlier in the summer and he knew that he’d be making  a big adjustment whether he stayed in Boston or not.

“You sort of kind of felt it coming,” Pierce said. “You figured if Doc was going to be leaving, you figured that was going to be the end of an era of me, Kevin and [Rajon] Rondo together.”

And though he still clearly needs some time to get used to his new reality, Pierce said Thursday that he’d rather be winning in Brooklyn than rebuilding in Boston.

“When you get that taste of success, you get that good meal or a taste of something good, you don’t want to go backwards,” he said. “That’s how I felt. I think Doc felt the same way. Kevin felt the same way. And that’s why all of us put ourselves in these situations where we can try to win.”

So here they are. Two guys that have bled green for the last six years wearing the black and white of a franchise that has seemingly reinvented itself twice in the last 13 months. And if you had any doubts that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov wasn’t afraid to spend money, realize that he just flew across the world in his Gulfstream to show up late for a 90-minute press conference.

But even Prokhorov knows that it takes more than a willingness to pay $80 million in luxury tax to win a championship.

“In the NBA, money, it’s important,” he said. “But you can’t buy a champ only spending money. The most important is to put pieces together and to create championship contender.”

The next step is getting Brooklyn’s Big 8 together on the floor. Right now, they’re a great team on paper. But so were the Lakers last season. Garnett and Pierce will be 37 and 36 years old respectively when the season starts, and LeBron James still resides in Miami.

For the Nets to challenge the Heat this season, they will need to stay healthy, play defense and develop chemistry. Pierce and Garnett did just that in Boston six years ago. But though they came a few minutes away from another championship in 2010, they’re still seeking a second ring.

“I felt like the difference in the years we spent in Boston when we won vs. when we didn’t,” Garnett said, “was just how we dealt with each other and how we communicated with each other.

“That’s going to be the biggest question mark for this team, how well are we able to jell and how quickly are we able to jell.”

The good news is that Pierce and Garnett bring six years of chemistry with them, and having a partner in this transition was critical for both of them. Though leaving Boston was difficult, they know that they have the potential to win big in Brooklyn. They wouldn’t have come if Williams, Johnson and Lopez weren’t already here.

It’s just a shame that we have to wait more than three months to see how all of this will work out.

“I’m here to try to create some kind of legacy here in Brooklyn,” Pierce said. “It’s sinking in and I’m liking what I feel right now.”
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24 Comments

  1. the battle of new york just got better

  2. ksmit says:

    I am a Celtic’s fan and a Pierce fan for life. I believe Billy King and Danny both did a good job with this trade. Garnett has learned what his role at this point in his career and Terry has always known his role. Pierce on the other hand has always been THE guy and I think now his career will last longer, he will accomplish more and he will be happy with this in the future. JKidd with help Pierce to play more as a role player and teach him how to still be a leader without having such an impact every single night. These new veterans in Brooklyn will establish a winning and mature sense of play. Everyone on the team will get better including DWill,Joe Johnson and obviously Brook Lopez. This will be a team that I believe will pull it together and win a title within the next two years. Young players on the team will also benefit in a big way and this could become a franchise similar to San Antonio, where veterans play less minutes but play more efficiently and young players develop and key starters and all stars are eventually replaced. Jason Kidd knows the game and how to play it, and he has won and also lost, he will be a good NBA coach and this is a good place for him to start his new career. As for Boston…… NEVER SLEEP ON BOSTON. Jeff Green and Rondo will be stars in this NBA for a long time and the new coach will be great (I am looking forward to Banner number 18). We still have Sully, Avery, and now Olynyk. Jordan Crawford played well as a Celtic too, but with the return of MarShon Brooks and the addition of Kris Humpries, the Celtics can make some moves or play and grow together and I believe they will be fine.

    Excited to see all of the new faces in new cities around the NBA this season, should be fun.

  3. Jerry Ries says:

    I’m a Celtics fan brokenhearted to see The Truth (especially) and KG leave. I wish them well. i also wish a new man in charge in Boston. To Danny Ainge I say thanks for the 3 titles you had a hand in, but it’s time for you to go. You do not represent and emulate what made the franchise what it is. Back to Brooklyn, they do need to realize they’re not going to get 36 quality minutes a night from KG and PP. I frankly think they’d be better off with an experienced head coach so I’ll be looking to see who Kidd has on his staff. Lastly, I agree with the comment that it’s easier (still not easy) to put together a team when the owner has no concept of cost.

  4. Yin says:

    What a pity for Paul Pierce that he can’t play in Boston for all his career. But wining is better than rebuilt. For you all my best, Paul.

  5. shaba says:

    it looks good on paper, but like everyone else has said, HEALTH is the main factor. Don’t forget the season is 82 games long, and its a whole new ball game come playoff time. Acquiring these players who are pushing 40 and definitely past their prime doesn’t instantly make Brooklyn a title contender. I see them finishing 3rd or 4th and getting eliminated in the 2nd round by either Miami or Indiana. But the plus for Brooklyn is now they have 2 options late in the 4th quarter, Pierce and Johnson, 2 cold-blooded clutch shooters, they should be much better at closing out games this year.

  6. i have no name says:

    I think that Brooklyn is going to contend well but might be knock off if the second or 3rd round.Why do you ask :3 because since Brooklyn and Boston have one of the biggest rivalry in the NBA i don’t really see Pierce , Garnett and Terry working well with Brook, Deron and Joe. I don’t know maybe they’ll have a miracle like Miami did in 2011 and make the Conference Finals or the Finals but will probably lose too Miami or some team in the West if they are too make the Finals

  7. mhondz... says:

    I think this team is the next contender in eastern conference finals…

  8. W/E says:

    Nets roster seems good, but we gotta see them in action u never know.

  9. DiX says:

    yeah boiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  10. TTKIN says:

    Im sorry but Billy King gets too much credit. It’s a lot easier to acquire a team 9 or 10 deep when the owner is saying “I dont care about money”.

    Even Kupchak has to be creative for the Lakers cuz of Kobe’s contract.

    But that second paragraph saying Bill King has done such a good job transforming the roster, it’s so much easier when your owner essentially makes it that you can do video game trades.

  11. Nets fan says:

    I am a big fan on J.Kidd era in new jersey ever since am still a fan. now this Pierce, Garnett, Terry in the mix Ohhhh boy look out Miami 3rd crown wont happen this next season.

    • Average Joe says:

      Many said that last year. What happened? Don’t get your hopes up yet.

      • artifex says:

        True,
        I hope they are successful for KG And Pierces sake, since when it doesn’t work out, what is their gain from all this change.
        For Boston I don’t know either, with tha big amount of players coming in… they seem too good to be bad and too bad to be good. Not a high lottery pick but I fear for playoffs either… unless they get some move towards the trade deadline…
        But, Humphreys… GWallace… seem unCeltic as Pierce in all black…
        weird life

  12. stretch80 says:

    Health will be the key… 37 and 38… But Pierce has always defended Lebron pretty well.

    Another question: Can Joe Johnson make it happen in the playoffs? KG should help them get their D together ..

  13. Denholm says:

    as a celtics fan, rooting for KG, truth and the JET… not the brooklyn nets.

    • artifex says:

      That’s how Ifeel too.
      I hoped they take it for one more season and PP and KG could stay at a lower payroll. I believed they are of the kind of Duncan (who made 16-20 mio in his prime, now staying at 8-9 mio, that’s a 8,9 mio less – space for new talented players to develop under the guidance of a veteran, like SA does with Splitter now).
      It feels sad but in 10 years it won’t diminuish the legacy of PP And KG as Celtics! Drexler is also the franchise face of Blazers though he finished in Houston…

      THANK YOU PIERCE AND GARNETT

  14. ac says:

    There’s no denying that the Nets have made a major upgrade with their offseason. Nonetheless, I still see next year’s top four playoff seeds being almost identical to this past season, with the one possible change of NYK being third and Indiana being second. I still see Brooklyn at the 4 and Chicago at the 5, with a bunch of new teams and maybe the Hawks rounding out the rest.

    But, unlike last year, I definitely see BK beating Chicago if they were to meet, even if Rose is healthy. And I could see Brooklyn potentially beating Miami, but a lot would have to be in their favor for something like that to happen.

  15. dave says:

    I could see this team winning it all.

  16. J says:

    its sad but the nets SHOULD content

  17. rather be winning in Brooklyn than rebuilding in Boston…..man where is the love?? Good luck guys, In my opinion next season is between Nets, Heat, Pacers and Knicks in the 2nd round playoffs.

    Anyway I can’t wait to see the Nets play the Heat.

  18. Can’t wait to see how bkn will play on the floor with these 5 all stars

    • Akeem says:

      Don’t forget the bench. AK47, Terry, Livingston, Blatch is up and coming. Danny Ferry will be most remembered for making all ot this possible. D Will said that trading for JJ was a big part of him staying. I am now more excited about the Nets than I ever was about my home town Hawks. Thanks Danny:) BKLN loves you.