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Kevin Garnett would have retired if not traded with Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce Kevin GarnettKevin Garnett was in no mood to continue his basketball career if he were separated from Paul Pierce.

Pierce and KG have been teammates since the former Minnesota Timberwolves MVP was traded to the Boston Celtics prior to the 2008-2009 season. They won a championship together in their first year and made the Celtics title contenders in each subsequent season. The relationship between the two goes back to their AAU days in high school, so they’re tighter than many realize. Because of all that, Garnett says he would have retired if he and Pierce weren’t traded together.

Garnett is in China and answered fan questions in an online chat, as far as I can tell. Here’s what KG said via Sina Sports (it’s been translated by Google):

Moderator: Can you say if the transaction object is only you, no Pierce, you would choose to reject it?

Kevin Garnett: I would refuse, for sure, if I am a man was traded away, I would choose to retire, without a doubt, I would choose a direct retired.

Moderator: I heard that after this season you ready to retire?

Kevin Garnett: That is a rumor, I was thinking just want to find a good place, and now Jason – Terry, Paul – Pierce told me to go with the Nets, the Nets have done coach Kidd I think for me is a good choice, I went, really looking forward to next season.

The translation is choppy, but you can tell what Garnett was saying. It says a lot about his relationship with Pierce that he wanted to stick together with his buddy.

At 37 years old, Garnett has had a long career and was considering retirement. But he, Pierce and Jason Terry are on a good team with the Brooklyn Nets and will be competing for the Eastern Conference championship. KG may avoid playing back-to-back nights to save his body, but he still has enough to help them.

Chest bump to Celtics Life via Eye on Basketball

Paul Pierce: My hatred for New York Knicks has grown

Jason Terry Paul Pierce Kevin GarnettIt didn’t take Paul Pierce long to acclimate to his new surroundings in Brooklyn. Pierce, a lifelong Boston Celtic, was traded to the Nets in June. He says his hatred for the crosstown New York Knicks has already grown, even though he’s only been part of the Nets for less than two months.

“I think the hate [for the Knicks] has grown a little. Everybody knows how much I disliked the Knicks when I was with the Celtics, but I think it’s grown to another level,” Pierce said on ESPN NewYork 98.7 FM’s “The Michael Kay Show” on Thursday. “I think it’s time for the Nets to start running this city.”

Pierce already had a rivalry with the Knicks because of his days in Boston, so this isn’t something new. But his lack of respect for the Knicks has been consistent. Back when he was introduced to the media by the Nets, he intentionally left the Knicks out when mentioning the top contenders in the Eastern Conference. He listed the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, and Chicago Bulls as the top teams, along with his Nets. He said he left the Knicks off on purpose.

Despite slighting the Knicks last month, Pierce does believe there will be a strong rivalry between the teams next season.

“The only thing that separates the two teams is a bridge. And both of them are in the same division and both of them are considered contenders. You can’t help but say this is probably gonna be the best rivalry in sports next year.”

Pierce is optimistic about the season and says his goal is to win another championship or two before he has to retire. He also believes the Nets are title worthy, and he cited the five all-stars in the lineup as a strong point for the team.

Sure, the team may have five all-stars between him, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson, but he has to recognize that the players are not all in their prime. The Nets will be very good, but I still don’t see them reaching the NBA Finals.

Kevin Garnett: Trade to Brooklyn Nets ‘forced on us a little bit’

Paul Pierce Kevin GarnettKevin 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.

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Paul Pierce says ‘Thank You’ to Boston with cool Instagram photos

Paul Pierce thank you boston

Paul Pierce was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in June, ending his 15-season career with the Boston Celtics. After nine teams passed on Pierce in the 1998 NBA Draft, the Celtics decided enough was enough and took the former Kansas star. Their faith in Pierce paid off; he developed into a franchise player, franchise icon, 10-time All-Star, and NBA Finals MVP in 2008. But with the 35-year-old aging and the Celtics rebuilding, the team decided it was time to move on.

Though Pierce will be playing for the Brooklyn Nets, that does not mean his heart does not still lie in Boston. It clearly does. Pierce posted a number of photos to his Instagram account on Tuesday along with the hashtag “#ThankYouBoston”

Thanks to help from The Awesome Boston, we posted a compilation of a number of the photos below. They capture many of Pierce’s best moments with the C’s.

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Boston Celtics take out full-page ad thanking Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett

Celtics-thank-Paul-Pierce-Kevin-Garnett

When Paul Pierce retires from the NBA, his No. 34 Boston Celtics jersey will be hanging in the rafters at TD Garden. Kevin Garnett’s No. 5 could very well be right next to it. Pierce spent the first 15 seasons of his NBA career in Boston and is one of the most beloved players in team history. Garnett helped the Celtics win their 17th championship the first season he began bleeding green.

The Celtics have begun their inevitable rebuilding project, which started with Pierce and Garnett being shipped to the Brooklyn Nets. On Friday, the team took out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe thanking its future Hall of Famers.

Expect a deafening ovation for Pierce and Garnett when they return to Boston as visitors next season. They deserve every second of it.

Photo via Twitter/Dave Cutler

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce traded to Brooklyn Nets for Kris Humphries, others

Paul Pierce Kevin GarnettThe Boston Celtics have officially blown things up. Earlier this week, they released head coach Doc Rivers from his contract and allowed him to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for a first-round draft pick. On Thursday, Boston agreed to a deal that will send Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets.

Now, Boston is officially rebuilding. The Big Three Danny Ainge assembled in 2007 of Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen is all gone. The team was assembled to win a title, and it did just that. The Celtics will reportedly receive three first-round picks from the Nets in addition to Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks and Keith Bogans.

In making a deal with Brooklyn, the Celtics were thinking very long term. None of the players they received will make any type of significant impact, but the NBA requires salaries to be equal in any trade. The trade was more about the draft picks, with Boston receiving a first-rounder in 2014, 2016 and 2018. By possibly 2016 or certainly 2018, Pierce, Garnett and Terry will have all retired. The hope for Boston is that it gets an early draft pick out of the deal at some point in the future — even if it’s the very distant future.

While many Celtics fans are outraged that Pierce will not be retiring in a green uniform, Ainge had little choice. Paying Pierce and Garnett the type of money they deserve was simply out of the question. Now, you have to wonder if Rajon Rondo will be the next superstar leaving town. We’ll get into that a bit more later.

Doc Rivers trade complicates Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce going to Clippers

Paul Pierce Kevin GarnettDoc Rivers was officially traded from the Boston Celtics to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for an unprotected first-round pick in 2015. When the trade between the teams was first discussed, it was believed that Kevin Garnett would be a part of the deal. However, the NBA nixed that, saying that the league’s collective bargaining agreement prevents a coach from being traded for players (they can only be traded for cash and/or draft picks). David Stern also said he would block potential trades of Garnett to the Clippers because trades are not allowed to be contingent upon other moves.

Though the NBA approved the trade of Rivers to the Clippers, they are making it difficult for Garnett, and possibly Paul Pierce, to go to the Clippers.

According to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger, part of the compensation deal for Rivers states that the Clippers and Celtics cannot trade players until the end of the 2013-2014 season. Celtics GM Danny Ainge said in his press conference Tuesday that he believes the NBA mandated that part of the deal.

ESPN’s Marc Stein does say there may be a possibility for Garnett and Pierce to end up with the Clippers despite the league preventing trades between the sides. Stein says KG and Pierce could join the Clippers if they are bought out by the Celtics and choose to sign with the Clips as free agents.

The Celtics hold an option Pierce for at $15.3 million next season, and they could decide to buy him out for $5 million.

“I love Paul and KG. And we haven’t made that decision yet,” Ainge said Tuesday. “I’m not certain of either one of those decisions.”

Garnett is set to earn $12.4 million next season from the Celtics.

The Clippers may have gotten their coach, but the likelihood of them getting the Celtics’ other top players may not be strong at this point.