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Paul Pierce says he didn’t want to be part of rebuilding, trade was mutual

Aug 8, 2013, 4:48 PM EDT

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce AP

Paul Pierce will always love Boston, he’s admitted being traded out of there this summer has been hard on him. His number will eventually go into the rafters and generations of Celtics fans will tell their kids about “The Truth.”

That didn’t mean he wanted to stay through a rebuild.

Now Pierce and Kevin Garnett are in Brooklyn, while Doc Rivers is on the other coast with the Clippers.

There have been some Celtics fans — some prominent, some not — spinning this as Doc Rivers quit on the Celtics. Pierce said he and Rivers were in the same boar — this was a mutual split. Here is what Pierce told SLAM Magazine in a Q&A.

Well, I know the insides with everything that’s going on. A lot of stuff got blown out of proportion because of the media, but Doc has always said he didn’t want to be a part of a rebuilding situation. I’ve always stated that the past four or five years. After the season, the owners decided they wanted to go in that direction. It made Doc look like he was quitting but at the same time it was mutual—everything was mutual at the end. The trade, Doc leaving. I didn’t want to be a part of rebuilding; Kevin didn’t want to be a part of rebuilding; Doc didn’t want to be part of rebuilding. I think it was all mutual. We’ve done so much for the franchise that they wanted to help on our end. So Doc went to L.A., and they sent us to Brooklyn for a chance to win a Championship. That’s pretty much the way it was. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sometimes things just end. If we’re emotionally invested we want to assign blame when there really doesn’t need to be blame. We just don’t accept change well sometimes.

Sometimes it’s time to move on, that shouldn’t diminish the good times.

  1. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 8, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    The Celtics didn’t think of the idea to dump Doc Rivers. That really doesn’t make any sense. Why would they have offered him a 5-year deal? It was so he could be part of the rebuilding process and provide stability going into the future. There’s a pretty great breakdown of all his recent contradictions here.

    • jcmeyer10 - Aug 8, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Yah, a lot of doubletalk. The way I saw it was Doc wanted to be everyone’s friend. Love or hate Simmons but dude called it like I saw it.

      I wouldn’t hold it against Doc if he just came out and said he didn’t want to be a part of a rebuild. Doc didn’t quit, he just didn’t man up and say what he was thinking so it just looked 10X worse.

      Also, that’s how I saw the trade. It wasn’t throwing these guys out, it was giving them another chance at a Championship while giving us back a chance to get a head start on building a new team.

  2. abchome - Aug 8, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Speaking of The Truth!

  3. shanelsweet - Aug 8, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    From a non-Celtic fan, this summer’s transactions made me think that Danny Ainge is a classy GM who found a way to help his team without hurting the folks who brought it tons of glory over the last several years. Well done, Danny!

  4. wheels579 - Aug 8, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Aside from repeated contradictory comments, Doc’s mistake probably was accepting the 5-year contract knowing the window wasn’t that large. However, Doc earned that plus Celtics fans can’t complain because they got compensation from the Clippers. Pierce & Garnett shouldn’t want any part of rebuilding because they don’t have enough time left to survive it, yet I agree with Bill Simmons and others that Doc should have picked a story and stuck to it. Had he done that, the vast majority wouldn’t blame him at all for wanting the same as Pierce & Garnett.

  5. 00maltliquor - Aug 8, 2013 at 6:50 PM


    • dirtydavis - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:54 PM


    • jimeejohnson - Aug 10, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      Sarah Palin quit. These guys didn’t.

  6. whitey11177 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    That must have been a big boar if they were both in it. They must have crawled in it for warmth like in The Empire Strikes Back.

  7. 1historian - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    Doc was gone – he didn’t want to be part of the (inevitable) rebuilding.

    Had Garnett and Pierce stayed around the team would have been at best mediocre and they would have finished their careers on a team that had no real chance at a title to add to the one they had.

    New Jersey has the pieces together and needs some veteran help to guide the young talent that last step and so they REALLY want G&P.

    Ainge – play (kind of) hard to get – a pretty blush here, a wink there (as so ably taught to him by one ‘Red’ Auerbach)

    Result – a coach and 2 key players who didn’t want to be part of the rebuilding are gone and you have new

  8. 1historian - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    YOUNG (sorry) players to add to a good YOUNG nucleus already there, you have 2 #1 choices (1 almost certain lottery choice) in next year’s draft which is supposed to be one of the best in a long time, you will have a lot of money to spend on FAs next year and you will have a grand total of 9 #1 draft choices in the next 5 drafts.

    Jersey – it’s now or never. If Pierce and Garnett can’t do it this upcoming season they never will. They were greats in their time but their time is passing.

    It says here that somewhere Red Auerbach is chuckling, taking a puff on his cigar and saying “Danny boy, I taught you well.”

  9. jjones314 - Aug 9, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    So, when Ray Allen left to get a ring, everybody made a big deal out of it. Called the guy disloyal, a traitor and Garnett acted like the D-Bad that he is…

    But now Garnett and Pierce leave for the exact same reason as Ray did, but it’s ok. It’s all good. They’re not seen as disloyal. They’re not viewed as traitors.

    Get the f outta here. Frauds. Flaming hypocrites. If Ray Allen is seen as a traitor, then so should these 2 frauds.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 10, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      As they say in Masshaulchusetts: you’re NOT out of your tree!

  10. bbgraf08 - Aug 9, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Ray Allen situation was totally different. When he left, they still seemed to be a finals capable team. Ray Allen could have helped them get there but he slapped Boston in the face.

    This current Celts team even with PP and KG was done.

  11. jimeejohnson - Aug 10, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    First lobster roll he has he’s gonna yearn for New England. If he eats a lot of NY pizza he might be ok.

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