ESPNBoston.com's Jackie MacMullan sat down with Brooklyn Nets newcomers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for a "SportsCenter" conversation, and the former Celtics stars reflected on what leaving Boston means to them and how the future looks playing for the Nets.
"You spend your whole, almost half of your life in one city, you get used to it," Pierce said. "For you to make the move, it's a huge adjustment. I mean, I know nothing else but Boston."
Added Garnett: "For six years I embraced the same thing, obviously not to his magnitude, but it was enough to where we made our stamp. And this is where we are and where I thought we were going to be.
"And that changed, it's almost like you've got to deal with it. It's not time to be emotional, it's not time to be reflecting. Now you've got to make a decision on for what's best for you in going forward. And that was the most difficult out of all of this -- that things were pushed on, I felt like forced on us a little bit.
"You didn't see the fairy tale ending like this."
Pierce echoed the notion that leaving Boston wasn't something that he had envisioned, but he did acknowledge that he knew it was a real possibility.
"That's the only thing about this whole ordeal, you just wish that -- you look at other players like [Spurs big man] Tim Duncan, [Lakers guard] Kobe [Bryant], [Mavericks forward] Dirk [Nowitzki] ... those guys, they won a championship there, similar to what I've done, been there their whole career," Pierce said.
"It really kind of hurt, when you look at the news throughout the season, when [Mavericks owner] Mark Cuban says, 'We're never trading Dirk,' or when they say, 'We're never trading Tim,' or 'We're going to re-sign Kobe.' Nothing's really being said about me; I'm in trade rumors. So that part, you think about it, kind of hurts.
"But then, after so long, you have to understand that this is a business, and it's not like that for everybody."