BY JEFF SLADE
Paul Pierce said goodbye to Washington several weeks ago. He said hello to Los Angeles today.
Introduced at the Clippers press conference as one of their most valued free-agent signings of the summer, Pierce had plenty to say about his new role with the Clippers and also some to add about his time in Washington.
“I would of loved to have been (in L.A.) last year,” Pierce said. “But I had a chance to go to Washington – that was a great experience for me.”
With the move, not only is Pierce headed to his hometown, but he is also stepping into a team with a legitimate shot to challenge in the West.
“It's like a dream come true growing up right here," Pierce said. "Always want to play in my hometown for the opportunity to win a championship. ... If I didn’t think the Clippers were close (to winning a championship), no matter home or not, I probably wouldn’t have made this decision.”
Sam Cassell also seems to have caught the ear of Pierce. As Wizards fans might remember, it was Cassell who in part convinced the Truth to come to Washington, as Cassell was an assistant early last summer before switching coasts to Los Angeles. Now it seems Cassell helped bring Pierce out west.
"You know, Doc wasn’t really influential," Pierce said on his recruitment to the Clippers, "It was more Sam Cassell than anybody.”
In the end, the opportunity for Pierce to play in his hometown on of the NBA’s strongest teams was just too good an opportunity to pass up.
“Things really happen for a reason, I think this is the right timing, perfect opportunity here today and I’m glad to say I’m a Clipper.”