Pierce phone call helped convince KG to join Nets

Pierce phone call helped convince KG to join Nets
July 18, 2013, 9:00 pm
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As the talk surrounding Doc Rivers' departure began to heat up, the more Paul Pierce sensed that he was probably the next to exit.

So, when the draft night chatter began to percolate about him and Kevin Garnett being traded to Brooklyn, Pierce knew it could only happen if Garnett waived his no-trade clause.

"That's when I made the call [to Garnett]," Pierce said.

And that conversation, maybe more than anything else, is at the heart of Garnett's willingness to waive his no-trade clause and allow himself along with Pierce and Jason Terry, to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

Pierce spent his entire career with the Celtics, so he was all too familiar with the struggles that come about when a franchise is all about rebuilding, which is where the Celtics are right now.

To go through that again, at this point in his career, would have been a tough pill to swallow for the 35-year-old.

"Like I said over the last couple of years, it would be tough to go back to an environment that wasn't trying to win a championship," Pierce said. "When you get that taste of success ... you don't want to go backwards. That's how I felt. I think Doc [Rivers] felt the same way. Kevin [Garnett] felt the same way. That's why we all put ourselves in these situations where we could try and win."

The addition of Pierce, Garnett and Terry coupled with other offseason moves, has catapulted the Nets to the upper echelon of teams in the Eastern Conference, which makes them that has a legit shot at knocking off two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat.

Rivers is now coach and vice president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Clippers, another team that has had a strong offseason and envisions itself as one of the league's better teams as well.

And while Pierce  admits he will miss being a Boston Celtic, he says it's similar to breaking up with your first true love.

"The first girl you was in love with," Pierce said, "and y'all broke up, you cried, thought about her, probably sent letters; she rejected them. You cried some more, and then you moved on."

And those emotions will come back in waves when he returns to the TD Garden for the first time.

"It's going to be difficult," Pierce said. "It's definitely going to be emotional. My life was there. I spent almost half my life in Boston. It's definitely going to be tough."