Washington Wizards’ Paul Pierce Calls Out The Brooklyn Nets
After securing Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to an already stacked lineup including Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, many considered Brooklyn to be deep playoff team. However, their 2013-14 season ended with disappointment as they exited the playoffs early.
Since then, Pierce went to the Wizards as a free agent and Garnett was traded to Minnesota back in February. And in a recent sit-down with Jackie MacMullan, Pierce discussed his time in Brooklyn, calling it “horrible” and a “tough situation.”
“I’m much happier [in Washington],” he said. “It was a tough situation [in Brooklyn] last year. Horrible, really.” And he blames this unhappiness on the overall locker room mentality.
“It was just the guys’ attitudes there,” Pierce told MacMullen. “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 [Garnett] 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.”
And the two players that confused him the most were Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.
“Before I got there, I looked at Deron as an MVP candidate,” Pierce stated. “But I felt once we got there, that’s not what he wanted to be. He just didn’t want that.” He also claimed that the media attention did not help Williams; allegedly, he did not handle the Utah to New York media transition well and the “pressure got to him.”
“Joe [Johnson] is quiet,” Pierce continued. “He doesn’t want much attention. He doesn’t say much. There’s a lot of secondary guys on that team. 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.”
The Nets had the opportunity to re-sign Pierce, but they chose not to. On top of this, they also traded coach Jason Kidd to the Bucks. And since then, they went from the sixth-seed in the Eastern Conference to on the verge of missing the 2014-15 NBA playoffs.
As for Pierce in Washington, he has accepted his limited role. The 37-year-old is only averaging 11.9 PPG, four RPG and two APG in only 26.2 MPG.