Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were known for their intense work ethic on the court, but their teammates didn’t always share their passion for living in the gym.
Following the blockbuster trade that sent the two surefire Hall of Famers from the Boston Celtics to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013, Pierce and Garnett were disappointed their new teammates didn’t seem to have the same penchant for preparing that they did.
In a recent deep dive into the infamous trade, the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy detailed the inner workings of the deal and the aftermath, including Pierce’s dissatisfaction with being a Net.
“Garnett and Pierce were two of the first to arrive at the Nets’ practice facility for offseason workouts, and, according to sources, were surprised by the lack of attendance and immediately disappointed with the overall attitude of their new organization,” Bondy wrote. “Disappointment was an ongoing theme for those two,”
The two superstars enjoyed success in Boston as the leaders of the 2008 NBA championship team, but things were different in Brooklyn.
“When we came in and implemented our style, you know, a lot of people there didn’t understand that,” Garnett said recently on his “Area 21” show on TNT, per Bondy. “Everybody is preparing differently. We had to kind of adjust.”
The C’s were the only team Pierce had known in his NBA career, and the star forward was shaken and unhappy with the trade.
“Before in the locker room, Garnett was engaged, Pierce was not engaged,” former Nets public relations vice president Gary Sussman said. “He was wearing sunglasses. And he did not look like a guy who was happy to be there.
“It took him a while to adjust. Focusing on the trade and the immediate aftermath, then put him in Brooklyn, and this is where he is. He’s not happy about being there, he’s uncertain about the whole situation, and now you’re trying to work with him. You weren’t really a welcomed member of the crew at that time. You had to fight for every inch of respect and workability.”
Pierce eventually left the Nets following the 2013-14 NBA season and signed with the Washington Wizards as a free agent.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images
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