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NBA PM: Pierce Wanted to Be A Clipper

Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce wanted to be an L.A. Clipper this year, but “missed the boat.”… Boston debuts polarizing new sleeved jerseys…

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Paul Pierce Wanted to Be a Clipper

There’s no question that Paul Pierce’s addition in Washington has helped the Wizards ascend to the top of the Eastern Conference, which is where they sit after five games even without rising star shooting guard Bradley Beal.

However, it could have gone a much different way, as Pierce recently told SI.com.

“I thought a lot about L.A. (in the offseason),” Pierce said. “My wife wanted to stay there and put the kids in school. It would have been an easier transition for me being with Doc (Rivers), being at home. I think I missed out on that opportunity by waiting to see what Brooklyn was going to do. When they eventually said they weren’t going to make any moves, I missed that boat. That kind of upset me.”

With a home in the L.A. area, familiarity with the Clippers’ head coach and a need there for depth at small forward, there were rumors all summer that Pierce would ultimately end up in Lob City this season. If not there, Pierce at least assumed he could return to the Nets.

“I thought I would end up back in Brooklyn,” he said. “Talking to Kevin [Garnett], we created a bond over the years and I said I would come back and finish it out with him. Things didn’t go the way we wanted, obviously. Brooklyn went in a different direction. I had to make a choice.”

That choice was Washington, and it was a move that surprised a lot of people. Thus far it has worked out rather nicely, as what the Wizards needed more than anything was veteran leadership and championship experience in the locker room.

Still, Pierce admits that the last year-and-a-half have been pretty wild in the wake of leaving the only team he had ever played with in Boston.

“It was a rollercoaster, definitely,” Pierce admitted. “A lot of emotion went into [the decision to leave Boston]. Going through what we went through last year, I had a lot of thoughts like, ‘Shoot, I could have just stayed in Boston.’ They were going through some of the same things we were going through in Brooklyn. The key was to stay positive. Times change, you have to move on and that is what I eventually did.”

That doesn’t mean, however, that he’ll never end up back in Beantown. In fact, he already appears to be planning a reunion.

“Maybe as a player, maybe as a coach, maybe upstairs [in the front office],” Pierce said when asked if he’d return to the team that drafted him in 1998. “I follow what they are doing. I went back to Boston twice this summer, went to their practice facility. I keep up with them.”

His focus now, obviously, is in D.C., but as one of the most popular Celtics of all time, it makes sense that he’d like to return there someday. Of course, playing for the Clippers would have made a lot of sense, too. As Pierce has discovered in the last couple of seasons, however, plans don’t always work out in this league.

Boston Debuts Polarizing “Parquet Pride” Uniforms

On Thursday, the Boston Celtics debuted their “Parquet Pride” alternate short-sleeved jerseys, which is to “celebrate great moments in Celtics history from the famed Parquet Floor.” However, the early response to these uniforms has been pretty derogatory, and not just because of the sleeves, which still have not caught on with many players and fans.

To say that the uniforms are not traditional would be massively understating things, as their primary gray has never been used in any Boston Celtics uniform set prior to this one, and baroque flourishes like green arm stripes, a green “belt buckle” and a gray parquet pattern down the sides of the jerseys and shorts are not going to be winning adidas any awards for design.

While there have been some short-sleeved jerseys that have looked okay, and while the design envelope has certainly been pushed much harder than this before, the backlash is warranted considering the team, which boasts one of the most classic and beloved uniform designs in league history.

The Celtics will wear these polarizing uniforms five times this season, though it’s hard to imagine plans for a sixth appearance. Every team is entitled to crazy alternates, and adidas absolutely should experiment with some outrageous designs, but perhaps Boston’s iconic uniform set is not the masterpiece over which they should be painting.

Joel Brigham is a senior writer for Basketball Insiders, covering the Central Division and fantasy basketball.

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