“Coming here with Paul, I was talking about 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 this is where I thought we were going to be,” Garnett said during a 'SportsCenter' interview Thursday.
“And then when that changed, it’s almost like you’ve gotta deal with it. It’s not time to be emotional. It’s not to be affected. Now you’ve got to make a decision on what’s best going forward, and that was the most difficult part of all of this: that things were pushed on, forced on us a little bit.
“You didn’t see the fairy-tale ending like this.”
During the news conference at Barclays Center, Pierce looked dazed, clearly trying to come to the realization that he was no longer with the Celtics, the team with which he spent the first 15 seasons of his career.
“You spend almost half your life in one city, you get used to it, for you to make a move, it’s a huge adjustment,” Pierce said. “I mean, I know nothing else but Boston.”
Garnett believes Pierce absolutely deserved to finish his career where he started it.
“I felt like he’s given to that city everything,” KG said.
Pierce expanded on that: “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.
“But I just told [my wife] that you just have to understand it’s a business. It’s not like that for everybody.”
As Jackie MacMullan pointed out, everyone is wondering how much the duo has left.
Garnett’s facial expression indicated he didn’t like the question very much, and he said, “I know.”
Pierce was more expansive.
“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.”
Asked about his relationship with first-year coach Jason Kidd, Garnett said: “He is a friend first, and now we have to put in perspective that he’s the coach, and I have no problem with that. The point I’m trying to make in all this is that the communication, the fact that I’m comfortable to talk to a friend about anything, is a great incentive. Not that I couldn’t talk to Doc [Rivers] about that, because I would talk to Doc about life.
“I didn’t say anything stupid, did I?”
Added Pierce: “I think Jason being our peer over the years, I think he’s gained so much respect -- not only amongst us, but amongst the entire league. You talk about being one of the brightest players to ever play the game and so you could kind of see his transition from player to coach.”