In Paul Pierce's mind, the end of the Celtics' run as contenders came in January.
That's when Rajon Rondo suffered a season-ending ACL tear.
Pierce told the Boston Herald in an interview that it was the first domino to fall. Before long, Doc Rivers went to the Clippers and Pierce and Kevin Garnett were dealt to Brooklyn. That unofficially marked the new rebuilding process the C's are now embarking on.
“It was like a domino effect,” Pierce said. “It was like (the Rondo injury) was there and then Doc. When you put all that stuff together, you know the writing was on the wall.”
The Celtics were looking to get younger and rebuild, while Pierce still wanted to play for another championship. Pierce said he was aware of the two different directions of the franchises. Although he had often envisioned himself being a lifelong Celtic, the current situation simply wouldn't allow.
“It would be hard to contend,” Pierce said. “I saw the vision. I saw all that. As a player, I’m selfish. I want what’s going to be good for me and the team. But you’ve got to look at the management looking at what’s down the road. If it’s up to me I would want to rebuild to win a championship by bringing players in. They were looking at the future, down the line.
“Rajon might not be here for the beginning of the year or however long he takes, so it would be tough for us to be a contender or get in a position to contend. Everybody saw that and I think that helped the decision on both sides.”