Paul Pierce was decidedly somber Thursday, his demeanor wavering between sadness at having been dealt in a salary dump and bittersweet acceptance of his new role and new digs.
"I'm liking how I feel right now," he finally said.
But in comments to long-time Boston sports writer Jackie McMullan, Pierce let it be known he was let down by Ainge's decision to trade him. and how he, unlike other greats nearing the end of their careers, never got what he deserved in loyalty.
"That’s the only thing about this whole ordeal. You just wish that when you look at the other players like Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, those guys that have won a championship [with the only team they’ve ever played for], similar to what I’ve done, been there their whole career, it really kind of hurt.
"You’d look on the news throughout the season when Mark Cuban says ‘We’re never trading Dirk,’ or they say we’re never trading Tim or we’re gonna re-sign Kobe and there’s nothing really being said about me, I’m in trade rumors, so that part you think about it, it kind of it hurts.
Garnett agreed that there was no "fairy tale ending" for Pierce, who deserved one.
Pierce did say he wants to create a legacy in Brooklyn, that his new situation is "just sinking in."
"I think we have a lot left, especially with the roles we’re gonna be put in with the players we got around us," Pierce said. "I mean, we’re not asked to carry this team, we’re asked to be sort of glorified role players. You have your stars here already."
- Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce sit down with SportsCenter (Video) - Jackie MacMullen - ESPN
- Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett officially end Celtics tenure, begin fresh with Brooklyn Nets - Gary Washburn - Boston Globe
- Paul Pierce relishes new NY rivalry - Mark Murphy - Boston Herald
- Paul Pierce sold KG on Nets - Mark Murphy - Boston Herald
- Sad to go, Kevin Garnett embraces move - Dan Duggan - Boston Herald
- KG at Nets presser: 'Best option to win again' - Cameron McDonough - WEEI
- Pierce looks to create 'legacy' in Brooklyn - A. Sherrod Blakely - Comcast Sports Net
- Pierce phone call helped convince KG to join Nets - A. Sherrod Blakely - Comcast Sports Net
- Garnett, Terry hope to teach Nets how to win - Jimmy Toscano - Comcast Sports Net
- Paul Pierce ready to move on after 15 years with Celtics - Chris Mannix - Sports Illustrated
- Paul Pierce talks about his final days as a Celtic - James Pennington - SB Nation