During a dizzying summer in Boston sports, one of the most jarring images of change was the sight of former Celtics greats Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett sitting down for their introductory press conference as Brooklyn Nets. Pierce wore a gray tie, Garnett a black one, colors that evoked those of their new team. During his 15 years in the National Basketball Association, Pierce had never worn anything but Celtics green.
In June, the Celtics jettisoned their two superstars to Brooklyn and their head coach, Doc Rivers, to the Los Angeles Clippers in a pair of deals centered on securing draft picks for the team’s future. Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca admitted on media day on September 30 that the team was a work in progress. “We have to be patient,” he said. “It’s hard. It takes time to build young assets.”