Kevin Garnett: Trade to Brooklyn Nets ‘forced on us a little bit’
Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry were traded to the Brooklyn Nets in June as part of a surprising multi-player deal. The three players are expected to solidify an already strong roster and potentially lead Brooklyn to a title run. The trade was jarring because not many expected to see happen Pierce and KG dealt in the final years of their career.
Garnett, 37, was considering retirement this offseason and, Pierce, 35, wanted to play the rest of his career for the Boston Celtics. But things didn’t work out that way. The Celtics decided to officially break up the team that won them an NBA championship in 2008, which didn’t give the players the chance to have the ending they wanted.
“For six years I embraced the same thing [as Pierce] did,” Garnett said of his relationship with the Celtics in an interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “Obviously not to his magnitude, but it was enough to where we made our stamp and this is where we are and where we’re going to be.
“And then what that changed, it’s almost like you have to deal with it,” Garnett told MacMullan, reflecting on the trade. “It’s not time to be emotional, it’s not time to be reflective. Now you have to make a decision on what’s best for you going forward. And that was the most difficult out of all of this.
“That things were pushed on us, forced on us a little bit … you didn’t see the fairy tale ending.”
Pierce expressed a similar feeling about the trade. He admitted to MacMullan that he didn’t feel like he had the full organizational support the way other franchise players around the league did, and it hurt him.
“That’s the only about this whole ordeal. You just wish that … you look at the other players like Tim Duncan, Kobe (Bryant), Dirk (Nowitzki) and those guys, they’ve won a championship there similar to what I’ve done, been there their whole career. It really kind of hurt when you look throughout the whole season. When Mark Cuban says ‘We’re never trading Dirk.’ Or they say ‘we’re never trading Tim’ or ‘we’re going to re-sign Kobe.’ And nothing’s really being said about me. I’m in trade rumors. So that part when 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.”
Now that they are with a new team, the two are preparing for a championship run. They feel comfortable with a former opponent, Jason Kidd, serving as their head coach. They also say they feel comfortable in their roles on their new team; they’re just being asked to be “glorified role players” in Pierce’s words.
Brooklyn took a risk when adding both players. Though I like Pierce, KG and Terry, I still don’t think it will be enough to win them a title. Now the team is adding more and more payroll and only getting older. That doesn’t sound like a great recipe for winning.