Paul Pierce gets emotional when he thinks about his 15 years in Boston and what his first visit to TD Garden as a visiting player will be like, he admitted Thursday after being introduced as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
Something Pierce does not get emotional over, however, are the reasons why Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge chose to make the deal. All is fair in love, war and NBA personnel decisions.
An open, yet reflective, Pierce spoke at length about his conflicted feelings over leaving the Celtics to pursue a championship with the Nets. Despite his obvious desire to play his entire NBA career in one uniform, Pierce admitted he understood Ainge’s decision to rebuild and that it is a decision he hopes he can make, too, should he ever be a general manager.
“If I was a G.M. — and I would like to become one if that is possible — then I would have made the same decision,” Pierce said, according to the Boston Herald. “There’s sentimental things that go along with me and Danny being together, but at the end of the day, he works for the Boston Celtics. He doesn’t work for Paul Pierce. He works for a franchise that’s going to be around a lot longer than me, and he has to make the best decisions for that franchise.
“If I was in his position, I probably would have done the same thing.”
One of Pierce’s old rivals, Jason Kidd, recently made the quick jump directly from being an NBA player to being an NBA head coach. Maybe a similar leap is ahead for Pierce?
Fans may have to wait a while before they see Pierce making personnel moves, though. Pierce has not said how many more years he plans to play in the NBA, and he has said more than once that he could be interested in finishing his playing career overseas once playing in the NBA is no longer realistic.