Paul Pierce regretted leaving Celtics, nearly signed with Clippers
Pierce, who spent the first 15 seasons of his career with the Celtics, was traded with Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets in July 2013. Joining a starting five featuring All-Stars Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, the Nets had championship aspirations, but lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Miami Heat.
Pierce said it took him longer than expected to move on from Boston.
"It was a roller coaster, definitely. A lot of emotion went into it. Going through what we went through last year, I had a lot of thoughts like, ‘Shoot, I could have just stayed in Boston.’ [The Celtics] were going through some of the same things we were going through in Brooklyn. The key was to stay positive. Times change, you have to move on, and that is what I eventually did."
While he ended up signing a two-year deal with the Washington Wizards, Pierce said he was close to joining former Celtics coach Doc Rivers with the Los Angeles Clippers.
"I thought a lot about L.A. My wife wanted to stay there and put the kids in school. It would have been an easier transition for me being with Doc, being at home. I think I missed out on that opportunity by waiting to see what Brooklyn was going to do. When they eventually said they weren’t going to make any moves, I missed that boat. That kind of upset me."
In five games this season, Pierce has averaged 12.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists. To read Mannix's full interview with Pierce, click here.