Paul Pierce is known as “The Truth,” and Pierce spoke some candid truth in an interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. Specifically, the long-time NBA veteran vented his frustration about his last season in Brooklyn, which he termed “horrible” because of the attitude in the locker room:
“It was just the guys’ attitudes there. 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.”
Pierce specifically called out Deron Williams, saying the pressure in the big city got to the point guard and that Williams didn’t “want” to be the MVP candidate Pierce thought he could be. Pierce also mentioned Joe Johnson as a guy who didn’t want much of a leadership role.
The Nets were on the verge of being a disaster last season before the team finally turned things around and got into the postseason. Brooklyn beat the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Miami Heat.
Pierce said he would have stayed with the Nets despite the issues because Kevin Garnett was there, but the team declined to re-sign the 37-year-old and he wound up with the Washington Wizards. Pierce has had a solid season with the Wizards, averaging 12.1 points while shooting 44.8 percent overall and 39.2 percent from three.
Pierce also had some interesting things to say about his time in Boston, specifically about the relationship with Ray Allen. The two haven’t talked since Allen went to Miami in 2012, and Pierce said the two weren’t that close to begin with. In fact, Pierce said Allen wasn’t that close to many people on the team and that the sharpshooter didn’t like Rajon Rondo. Pierce even said that “in a lot of ways,” he, Garnett and Sam Cassell were the Big Three in Boston.