July 18, 2013

Pierce, Garnett: 'It's tough' not being Celtics anymore

Paul Pierce appeared dazed at times during his introductory news conference with New Jersey, while KG seemed to have a little easier time of it.

The Associated Press

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Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Garnett, left, listens as Paul Pierce speaks to the media during a news conference Thursday at Barlcays Center in New York.

AP

The Russian billionaire has said his goal was to win a championship within five years of buying the team in 2010. Including the signing of Andrei Kirilenko this summer, Brooklyn has now gotten into position to contend.

"For me, it's not the way to wait 10, 15 years for results," Prokhorov said.

With Pierce and Garnett joining the trio of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and All-Star center Brook Lopez, the Nets will have one of the NBA's most potent lineups. But they will have to win soon, as Pierce will be 36 by opening night and Garnett is 37 — though his refusal to answer to question about how much he has left showed he believes the answer is plenty.

The Celtics won a title in the first year that Garnett and Pierce were together, and they believe the Nets have the talent to compete for one this season.

"This is like mirror images," Garnett said. "You see the talent that's already here, you see us coming into it, now it's about how well we gel."

It will be strange trying to do it in jerseys that don't have any green. Garnett's even has an unfamiliar number, now in No. 2 in honor of his friend and former Minnesota teammate, the late Malik Sealy.

Pierce always envisioned them playing together, but not anywhere else. He figured when he signed his last contract that he would retire a Celtic, and felt even more certain after Garnett later re-signed.

"I thought we were going to be linked together pretty much the rest of our careers in Boston," Pierce said. "As you can see we are pretty much linked together, but just not in Boston anymore."

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