After leading the Boston Celtics to an NBA title over the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008, Paul Pierce officially became public enemy number one among Lakers fans back in his hometown.
After short stints with the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards, Pierce has returned home to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. Although there’s been rumors for years about Pierce possibly ending up with the Lakers, the one-time NBA champion downplays any notion of ever signing with the other team in Los Angeles, via Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:
“It’s a dream come true to be able to come home, finally,” Pierce said. “I grew up a Laker fan but playing on all the Boston Celtic teams . . . there’s no way I could go there — so this was the next best choice. And it’s always been a dream to play in front of my family and friends.”
With the Lakers having cap space this summer, plenty of rumors began swirling about the team targeting veterans after missing out on LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe. Although not directly linked to the Lakers, Pierce may have been an option for the storied franchise.
Ultimately, the Lakers ended up with some solid veteran additions. Lou Williams, Brandon Bass and Roy Hibbert may not be game-changers, but they’re all arguably upgrades from players that have left the team in free agency this summer.
As for Pierce, the journeyman chose not to return to the Wizards and rejoin head coach Doc Rivers in Los Angeles on a team filled with veterans. Pierce also joins Josh Smith, Cole Aldrich, Lance Stephenson and former Laker Wesley Johnson with the Clippers.