Celtics forward Paul Pierce said he's a "little bitter" at Ray Allen signing with the Miami Heat, but that he will "always be a brother." (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce told the team's official website Friday that he's "a little bitter" about Ray Allen signing with the Miami Heat as a free agent this offseason, but that Allen "made the best decision for him."
"Ray made the best decision for him," Pierce said, in what were his first public offseason comments. "That's what it's all about. You get in these situations, you get into free agency and you make a decision based on what's best for you and your family. Ray will always be a brother to me. If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't be wearing a championship ring. The things he was able to do for this organization will never be forgotten."
Pierce said he had talked to Allen a couple times since Allen made the decision to sign with Miami.
"A couple texts. I'm a little bitter that he went to Miami," Pierce said, smiling. "But he's still a brother of mine."
Pierce sounded confident, though, of general manager Danny Ainge's offseason moves in replacing Allen. The Celtics added guards Jason Terry and Courtney Lee and brought back forwards Jeff Green and Brandon Bass. And forward Kevin Garnett opted to return to the team instead of retiring, as the Celtics signed him to a three-year contract.
Pierce said he has "always been a big fan" of Jason Terry, and he expressed excitement at the other moves Ainge was able to make.
"It was just a domino effect. Once we signed Kevin, we knew were going to try to make another run at it. That's pretty much the way I looked at it. Once we signed him, a lot of guys were able to jump on board.
"I thought Danny did a good job of trying to replace Ray Allen. As you know Ray Allen went off to Miami on his choice, but he was a great teammate, it was fun playing with him. But I think the guys coming in here — Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, trying to get a healthy Jeff Green, even some of our rookies — I think we've added a lot more depth, and it's going to really take a lot of pressure off me this upcoming season."