When asked how he felt about the public perception that Doc Rivers quit on the Boston Celtics, "The Truth" delivered, well, the truth. He defended his old coach, a man with whom he and Kevin Garnett shared a close, personal relationship, and he also revealed their motivations.
Here's Pierce's full answer to the question:
Well, I know the insides with everything that’s going on. A lot of stuff got blown out of proportion because of the media, but Doc has always said he didn’t want to be a part of a rebuilding situation. I’ve always stated that the past four or five years. After the season, the owners decided they wanted to go in that direction. It made Doc look like he was quitting but at the same time it was mutual—everything was mutual at the end. The trade, Doc leaving. I didn’t want to be a part of rebuilding; Kevin didn’t want to be a part of rebuilding; Doc didn’t want to be part of rebuilding. I think it was all mutual. We’ve done so much for the franchise that they wanted to help on our end. So Doc went to L.A., and they sent us to Brooklyn for a chance to win a Championship. That’s pretty much the way it was. Nothing more, nothing less.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with what the veteran small forward said.
It's one thing for a young coach or emerging star to look down on a rebuilding process, but it's another situation entirely when you have a trio of figures who have done their time in the Association.
Pierce and Garnett have spent over a decade playing professional basketball, and they've both been class acts throughout their careers. Garnett's intensity may occasionally rub some people the wrong way, but he's still kept his nose pretty clean.
After experiencing the thrill of winning championships, it's understandable that the future Hall of Famers wanted to pursue that feeling once more instead of wasting the twilight of their careers in a rebuilding process.
Pierce hit the nail on the head when he essentially stated that the C's owed him one after all he's done for Beantown.
The Rivers situation is a bit more complicated, but the new member of the Brooklyn Nets says that "everything was mutual." And now, everything has also worked out.
Boston entered the rebuilding process by keeping its best player (Rajon Rondo), gaining a promising young piece (MarShon Brooks), acquiring plenty of draft picks and hiring Brad Stevens to run the show. Rivers got to go coach a contender, and Pierce and KG converted the Nets into another team capable of winning a title.
Best of all, no one needs to rebuild the relationships between the players, coaches and franchises involved.