Paul Pierce's 'Second Act': Win a title in Brooklyn, forget about divisional banners

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN - Today at Nets Media Day there was plenty of talk about championships and how this team is built to make a run at winning it all this year. Similar, I can imagine, to the tone of about a dozen or so Media Days across the NBA.  And no one encapsulated the theme better than Paul Pierce.

When Pierce took to the podium as the final member of the 2013-14 Nets to meet with the media, he echoed that sentiment, saying he ultimately he "came here to win a championship," but then adding that he "wouldn't even want the team to put a banner up" if they won the Atlantic Division. Not even a banner. That's a strong statement, and one that doesn't necessarily make it into the NBA quotable book of cliches.

Pierce's entire press conference felt authentic. He wasn't so passive and distraught, like he was during the introductory press conference back in July. Then, you could almost sense as if Pierce hadn't quite processed what had just happened.

Today, however, for Pierce, who spent the last 15 seasons with the Boston Celtics, his personal quest to bring an NBA Title to Brooklyn was beyond a cliche. It was beyond simply giving us something quotable to pass along to the fans. It was convincing and felt honest. Not because I don't think the other players are lying when they tell you that this team is a championship contender, but for Pierce, unlike in Boston, now, in Brooklyn, he has to earn it. He can't just "say it."

Even more so than Kevin Garnett, who already lived an entire NBA life for 12 seasons in Minnesota prior to his move to Boston. Garnett said during his presser, "We’re here to get another ring. That’s the only reason we came to Brooklyn. The only reason we came to Brooklyn." And I believe him. But his story is different. He's already seen his second act play out.

Same can be said for Deron Williams, who had his when he moved to New Jersey from Utah, after having been the Jazz's franchise point guard and the heir to John Stockton's throne. Joe Johnson, as the highest paid player in the NBA, came from Atlanta to Brooklyn with something to prove. Jason Terry went from Atlanta to Dallas to Boston. Kirilenko left the NBA to play in Russia, only to return to Minnesota. Pierce now is only getting a taste of what it means to have to convince a new fan base that his intentions are true; not just quotable.

This is his second act, and as he took to the podium, the final Net of Media Day, he came off as professional, confident, and most importantly, proud to be a member of the Brooklyn Nets.

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