Pierce wasted no time paying further homage to the Boston Celtics, per ESPN blogger Chris Hooker:
Pierce: "I would have loved to have ended my career in Boston."— Chris Hooker (@chrishooker9) July 18, 2013
Garnett shared similar sentiments, via ESPN's Jared Zwerling:
Paul Pierce: "I would've liked to have ended my career in Boston." ... KG: "It's unfortunate we had to move on from Boston." Def emotional.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 18, 2013
Nothing we didn't know already, of course.
For Pierce this is especially difficult, considering he spent 15 years in a Celtics uniform. He is, however, excited for what awaits now that he is in Brooklyn:
Pierce: "It's tough when you've been in a situation like me for 15 years. When you look at what they're trying to do… it brings excitement."— Chris Hooker (@chrishooker9) July 18, 2013
The same goes for Kevin Garnett, who appeared genuinely enthused, per Andy Vasquez of The Record, to begin his time as a member of the Nets, and made it clear that he would embrace this opportunity, via the Nets' official Twitter feed:
Kevin Garnett's first words of the press conference: "What's up, Brooklyn."— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) July 18, 2013
Throughout most of the press conference, though, Pierce wasn't exactly smiling, lamenting his departure from Boston a number of times. Just take a look at these tweets from NBA on ESPN and Hardwood Paroxysm:
"At some point we all have to move on. I'm here to create some kind of legacy in Brooklyn." - Paul Pierce— The NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 18, 2013
Pierce: "It's finally starting to become real. I'm no longer a Boston Celtic, I'm a Brooklyn Net." /crowd cheers /Pierce does not look happy— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) July 18, 2013
Can't say I blame him. Again, 15 years is a long time.
But like Pierce said, it's time to move on. And he plans to move on, all the while contending for a championship:
On where the Nets stack up in the East, Paul Pierce says "right at the top." He mentions Heat, Bulls and Pacers. No #Knicks mention.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 18, 2013
Lost on no one is how important chemistry is to moving forward, especially Garnett.
Garnett on Nets chemistry: "That's going to be the biggest question mark for this team, how well we gel and how quickly we gel."— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) July 18, 2013
He also talked about animals and dark masters, per Brooklyn's Finest (ESPN's Nets blog):
"Sacrifice is important. You have to figure out which animals are the best tribute to our dark master." -- KG, spouting some strange advice— Brooklyn's Finest (@BKsFinestTHN) July 18, 2013
Make of that what you will.
Don't forget, this wasn't just about Garnett and Pierce; Jason Terry was there too. He wasted no time trying to get on his new coach/former teammate's good side:
Terry: "(Kidd) is the best point guard to ever play the game."— Chris Hooker (@chrishooker9) July 18, 2013
No seriously, he was making Jason Kidd blush:
Pierce may have scored some brownie points for making this whole thing possible. Afterward, he revealed that it was actually him who convinced Garnett to waive his no-trade clause and join the Nets, via Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:
Paul Pierce said that he had a 90 minute conversation with Kevin Garnett and persuaded him to waive his no-trade clause— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) July 18, 2013
On the subject of returning to Boston as a member of the visiting team, Pierce said he has already pictured it and that every time he does, he envisions tears being involved, per ESPN's Chris Forsberg:
Pierce on return to Boston: "I have already pictured it in my head probably about 100,000 times. And every time I picture it, I shed tears."— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) July 18, 2013
There were no tears being shed by the end of the presser. Pierce actually appeared a little less resigned and far more encouraged by what's to come:
As if the talent sitting around The Truth wasn't enough to inevitably sway him, Nets owner Mikhail "My Pockets Are So Much Deeper Than Yours" Prokhorov made a surprise appearance, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
Newest Nets and their boss pic.twitter.com/WJBv6J3GIl— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) July 18, 2013
Clearly that sealed the deal, as it was all smiles in Brooklyn (even Pierce) by the time the cameras started flashing again.
Now all that's left to see is if those smiles parlay into authentic happiness and, ultimately, an NBA championship.