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The Boston Globe

Sports

on basketball

For Paul Pierce, Celtics exit was difficult

NEW YORK — If there were any doubts as to whether Paul Pierce was sad that his time with the Celtics was officially over, his facial expression screamed disbelief Thursday when he, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry were introduced as Brooklyn Nets.

Pierce did not turn the page quickly. He showed no disdain toward the Celtics for trading him after 15 years to foster their rebuilding plan, he showed only love for the city, team, and its fans, laying the groundwork for what could be one of the more emotional returns in Boston sports history when Pierce visits TD Garden next season in a different uniform.

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