Emotional Pierce ponders Boston return

NEW YORK -- On the day he was formally introduced as a member of the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center, Paul Pierce struggled with the idea of returning to TD Garden to play the Boston Celtics next season.

“I know it’s going to be really emotional,” said Pierce, his face unable to hide his feelings. “I have already pictured it in my head probably about 100,000 times. And every time I picture it, I shed tears. So I’m trying to ... ”

His voice trailed and he collected himself a bit.

“It’s going to be difficult, man. I don’t know. It’s going to be difficult," added Pierce.

Then he tried to lighten the mood.

“It’s like the first girl you were in love with and y’all broke up,” explained Pierce. “You cried, you thought about her, you probably sent her letters -- she rejected them and you cried some more. Then you moved on.”

One thing is clear in the immediate aftermath of his breakup with Boston: Pierce still hasn’t quite moved on.