Paul Pierce has found the Wizards to be a much better fit for himself than the Nets were last season, Jackie MacMullan of ESPNBoston.com writes. Speaking about being in Washington, Pierce told MacMullan, “I’m much happier. It was a tough situation [in Brooklyn] last year. Horrible, really. It was just the guys’ attitudes there. It wasn’t like we were surrounded by a bunch of young guys. They were vets who didn’t want to play and didn’t want to practice. I was looking around saying, ‘What’s this?’ Kevin Garnett and I had to pick them up every day in practice. If me and Kevin weren’t there, that team would have folded up. That team would have packed it in. We kept them going each and every day.”
Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- The veteran forward also relayed that the player who most perplexed him on the Nets was Deron Williams, MacMullan adds. “Before I got there, I looked at Deron as an MVP candidate,” Pierce said. “But I felt once we got there, that’s not what he wanted to be. He just didn’t want that. I think a lot of the pressure got to him sometimes. This was his first time in the national spotlight. The media in Utah is not the same as the media in New York, so that can wear on some people. I think it really affected him.”
- Pierce indicated he would have remained in Brooklyn this season for the sake of his longtime teammate, MacMullan notes. “I would have stayed in Brooklyn because of Kevin,” Pierce said. “I told him, ‘I don’t really like this situation but I would never leave you if you want me to stay.’ But they decided not to re-sign me so I never had to make a choice. I would never have left Kevin like that.”
- The Nets are currently a half game behind the Pacers for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, but even if the team makes the postseason this campaign still will be considered an expensive failure, Tim Bontemps of The New York Post writes.