Paul Pierce didn’t seem on board with Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder for the Warriors:
If u can't beat um join um 🤔
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 4, 2016
Now, we can be clear: Pierce isn’t on board with Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder for the Warriors.
I’m an old-school guy. I’m a competitor. I never believed that – when you want to be the best, you’ve to beat the best. That’s always been something that’s driven me. Today’s day and age, a lot of these guys are friends. That’s like if Bird decided to go play with Magic or something. These guys, I think the competition makes the game what is.
And Oklahoma, I felt like, was a contending team. They had Golden State on the ropes. I understand when you have great players on losing teams who are tired of losing, struggling in the playoffs every year. You’re the lone star. I’ve been in that position. I could have left Boston years ago, but I stuck it out. I just feel like when you’re that close, as a competitor, you don’t go join the team that just put you out.
That’s just me personally, but we’re living in a day and time where there’s a new generation. Guys I don’t think they are as hungry or competitive as my generation was, and that’s why you’ll probably see more of that.
Pierce asked the Mavericks to trade for him so he could play with Dirk Nowitzki on a team one star away from contending. In 2007, he reportedly told the Celtics to trade him if they didn’t add a second star. Boston, of course, traded for Ray Allen and then convinced Kevin Garnett to waive his no-trade clause. In 2013, Pierce helped engineer a trade to the Nets. He and Garnett joined Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez in Brooklyn and Pierce said, “We’re all about winning a championship and Brooklyn, we feel, gives us the best opportunity.” After stints with the Nets and Wizards, Pierce signed with the Clippers, which he described as a super team.
Yes, Durant did something slightly different by joining the team that knocked him out of the playoffs. But does that lone factor really demonize Durant and absolve Pierce for his own career of using his power to join with better teammates? Not to me.
But something, something millennials.