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.”