Apparently, Paul Pierce deserves some credit, too.
Pierce told reporters Thursday that he was on the phone with Garnett for around two hours in the sweltering heat in an effort to convince Garnett to come with him to Brooklyn.
“It was a situation where [the Celtics] were going to make a move, and once the deal with the Clippers didn’t go through for [Garnett], it was like, the Celtics were trading me, Doc was leaving, so what was left for Kevin?” Pierce said, according to ESPNBoston.com. “I talked to Jason Kidd, and he was warming me to the fact of coming to Brooklyn, then he started warming me to the fact that they were trying to get Kevin, too.
“That’s when I called Kevin and asked him what he thought about coming to Brooklyn, he immediately said, ‘Well, what pieces are they going to give up? Who is going to be left? Is it going to be possible for us to win a championship?’ He was excited when I talked to him after warming him up, just to have the opportunity to come and win a championship and be alongside a young prospect like Brook Lopez, who he can try to take to the next level. And once I warmed him up to that, he was all in for it.”
Pierce said it was 100 degrees outside when he had his marathon session with Garnett.
“I was like, ‘Do you understand what’s going on in Boston? [A potential trade to the] Clippers thing appears to be dead. So what do you think, big fella? I know you don’t want to retire. I know you don’t want to retire,’” Pierce said he told Garnett. “‘You have too much in the tank, you love the game too much.’ Sometimes you just have to tell Kevin to sit back and think about it. He reacts to everything. Like his initial reaction to everything is, ‘No.’ [You say,] ‘Kevin I got $100 million.’ [And he replies,] ‘No.’ Then he has to sit back and think about it and then once he warms up to it, he makes his decision, and that’s about anything.”
Garnett admitted he contemplated retirement, but ultimately decided to chase another ring.
"Obviously having JET [Jason Terry] and Paul with me was a really really big issue,” Garnett said. “I don’t know anyone who loves change but change has to happen for things to be better. When I sat down and let the dust sort of settle and got all the facts, that is when I made my decision after knowing all the options and thinking what I am going to do. And didn’t rush. I wanted to see how I felt about the whole thing of leaving Boston, change, retiring, how long you want to play, desire ... and then I made my decision on a clear mind and clear head and here we are.”
Once he retires, Pierce told reporters that he “probably plans on being a GM if that’s possible.”