The Brooklyn Nets have been given two chances to solidify their spot in the playoffs. They responded with a 23-point loss to the Bucks and a 27-point loss to the Bulls.
That probably doesn’t surprise Paul Pierce, who called his one year with the team “horrible” in an interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullen.
“They were vets who didn’t want to play and didn’t want to practice,” Pierce said. “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.”
Pierce reserved his sharpest criticism for point guard Deron Williams, saying he had MVP-level talent, but “that’s not what he wanted to be.”
“KG and I went there looking at them as the main guys who would push us, because we were advancing in years,” he said. “But we ended up doing all the pushing.”
The Nets got off to a 10-21 start in Pierce’s only year in Brooklyn before rallying behind a small lineup to finish 44-38 and advance to the second round of the playoffs. Brooklyn elected not to re-sign Pierce, so he inked a two-year deal with a player option with the Wizards. Washington is 46-34 and locked into the fifth seed in the East. The Nets later traded Garnett back home to Minnesota at the trade deadline for Thaddeus Young.
Pierce said he’s enjoyed his time in D.C., though he admitted the team’s young nucleus of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter doesn’t always realize “what it takes” to be great. He also said next year will be his last season.