Pierce: Returning will always be emotional

Pierce: Returning will always be emotional
March 7, 2014, 7:00 pm
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(AP Photo)

BOSTON — The last time Paul Pierce was at the TD Garden, he struggled to contain his emotions.

It was the first time in his illustrious career that Pierce, now with the Brooklyn Nets, was on the Garden floor in a uniform other than the Celtics' Green and White.

And that video tribute on the Jumbotron?

Pierce got misty, but didn't shed any tears.

The same could not be said for some fans that openly weeped in the Captain's  return - make that former Captain's return.

There won't be a video tribute this time around, but the emotions he felt last time he was in Boston will indeed return.

"There'll still be a little of emotions every time I come into this gym, being here so many years, so many memories," Pierce said.

Pierce along with Kevin Garnett were part of a blockbuster trade this summer with the Nets.

Garnett, who was admittedly emotional as well when the Nets beat the Celtics at the Garden 85-79 on Jan. 26, did not travel to Boston because of back spasms.

Tonight's game will be the fourth straight that Garnett has missed due to the injury.

"It's tough on him, regardless if it's Boston or anywhere," Pierce said of his longtime friendship which dates back to their high school days. "He loves the game. He wants to be out there for his teammates. The key right now for us, is for him to get healthy in this last stretch of games."

Pierce's health has not been an issue of late, and the Truth has responded with solid play in helping the Nets emerge as one of the league's top teams since the calendar flipped to 2014.

"Just getting into a good groove," Pierce said. "I think it's everybody. We have good chemistry. Once you fall into a comfortable place, it's easier on everybody not just myself."