Saying goodbye to Paul Pierce would’ve meant saying goodbye to playing professional basketball for new Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett.
“I would refuse to [waive the no-trade clause], if I was traded away, I would choose to retire, without a doubt,” Garnett recently told Chinese media corporation Sina when speaking about what he would’ve done if Pierce had not been included in the blockbuster trade that sent him from the Boston Celtics to the Nets over the offseason.
Finding a needle in a haystack would be a cakewalk in comparison to finding that sort of loyalty to a teammate in any professional sport.
Garnett went to Boston in 2007 after a long run with the Minnesota Timberwolves with only one goal in mind, and that was to finally add a championship to his resume. Alongside Pierce and Ray Allen, the originators of the modern day “Big Three” were ultimately successful and found themselves hoisting Larry O’Brien Trophy by June of 2008 following a six-game NBA Finals victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
As Garnett’s career reaches its latter stages, the fact that he still has that sort of brotherly bond with Pierce should be music to the ears of Nets fans. Needing Pierce at his side proves that Garnett still has that same thirst for victory that he did back in 2007, despite already having attained that long-coveted ring.
What’s more is that the rest of the Nets can feed off of Garnett’s commitment to one of his teammates. It didn’t appear that the Nets had chemistry issues last year, but they did certainly lack in the leadership department once the postseason rolled around. Understanding Garnett’s loyalty to Pierce and buying into that same philosophy with each other this season should make the rest of Brooklyn’s roster more vocal and accountable.
Garnett still has Pierce ready to go to battle with him, and the rest of the Nets should learn from that beautiful example of camaraderie they have right before their eyes.