Paul Pierce Blasts Deron Williams, Details ‘Horrible’ Season With Nets

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April 14, 2015

Watch out, NBA. Paul Pierce is on a warpath.

The Washington Wizards forward sat down earlier this week for a lengthy interview with ESPN.com’s Jackie MacMullan, and the result was the equivalent of a rap diss track.

Pierce went after everyone. Former teammates, current teammates, entire organizations, Ray Allen — you name it.

Target No. 1: The Brooklyn Nets, with whom Pierce spent last season after the Boston Celtics traded him and Kevin Garnett there.

“I’m much happier (in Washington),” Pierce told MacMullan. “It was a tough situation (in Brooklyn) last year. Horrible, really.

“It was just the guys’ attitudes there. It wasn’t like we were surrounded by a bunch of young guys. They were vets who didn’t want to play and didn’t want to practice. I was looking around saying, ‘What’s this?’ Kevin and I had to pick them up every day in practice.

“If me and Kevin weren’t there, that team would have folded up. That team would have packed it in. We kept them going each and every day.”

It didn’t end there. To Pierce, Nets point guard Deron Williams was an unmotivated underachiever who couldn’t handle the pressure of the New York media. Joe Johnson was a fine guy but one who refused to step up and lead.

“There’s a lot of secondary guys on that team,” Pierce said. “KG and I went there looking at them as the main guys who would push us, because we were advancing in years. But we ended up doing all the pushing.”

OK, so Pierce didn’t have the greatest year in Brooklyn. It’s not all that shocking that he’d have some harsh words for the Nets.

But even Pierce’s current mates weren’t exempt from his critiques. Pierce questioned whether John Wall and Bradley Beal, considered two of the better young guards in the NBA, have what it takes to make the leap to stardom.

“I talk to them a lot about mental preparation and consistency,” Pierce said. “I keep telling Wall and Beal, ‘You’ve got to make up your mind. Do you want to be good, or do you want to be great? Because if you want to be great, you gotta do it every single night, not just when you feel like it.’

“Both of those guys have the potential to be great. I love them. But sometimes I’m not sure they realize what it takes.

“That was (Rajon) Rondo’s problem, too. Some days he did, some days he didn’t. I think it’s more this generation. A lot of these players have been catered to since the sixth grade. The NBA is changing so much. It’s not like when I came up, with that old-school mentality that practice really mattered. You’ve got these 24-, 25-year-old guys who sit out of practice now to rest. It’s hard for me to understand, but I’m trying.”

Wizards guard Otto Porter’s desire also was questioned.

And that’s just a small sampling. Click here to read the full interview.

Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images

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