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Pierce: "Great experience" with Wizards

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Pierce: "Great experience" with Wizards

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.” 

MORE WIZARDS: What to make of Kelly Oubre Jr.'s Summer League 

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Tim Connelly explains his interview with Wizards, decision to stay with Nuggets

Tim Connelly explains his interview with Wizards, decision to stay with Nuggets

Tim Connelly sat down with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis about the head front-office opening on Friday.

On Monday, NBC Sports Washington confirmed that he decided to stick with his role as president of basketball operations for the Denver Nuggets

A day later, he spoke to the media at a press conference and answered questions about his meeting with Washington.

Clear in Connelly's comments were his respect for Leonsis, but commitment to continuity in Denver. 

"I had a really nice conversation with Mr. Leonsis and his staff. He's a fantastic owner, I think a real visionary. I was really impressed by who he was and his thoughts for the team. That team's going to be special quickly under his leadership. We just had a conversation and not much more than that."

As for the reason for the discussion with Leonsis, Connelly said it came down to his love for the franchise. 

"I spent 14 years there. Certainly it's where I'm from, it's where my wife's from, so I just wanted to have the conversation because I care about the organization," he said.

"I'd never had an audience with [Leonsis], so to have that conversation and exchange of ideas, you know, it's flattering." 

Ultimately, however, the Baltimore native emphasized that Washington couldn't entice him away from the franchise he'd spent the last six years building. 

"Loyalty and patience is such a rarity in professional sports and that's here in spades. Those things matter to me," he said. "I had a hard time envisioning myself elsewhere."

With Connelly out of the picture, the list of candidates for the Wizards front-office opening is narrowing. Currently, Tommy Sheppard, Danny Ferry and Troy Weaver remain in the conversation. 

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The Wizards' GM search was kind of a mess, but the NBA has much bigger drama right now

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USA Today Sports

The Wizards' GM search was kind of a mess, but the NBA has much bigger drama right now

So, the Wizards' search for a GM kind of turned into a mess. 

We thought Tim Connelly was set to take the job of President of Basketball Operations. All signs pointed to him being the guy from the beginning. All reports said this was going to happen.

Then, he turned it down

The thing with the NBA though is there always seems to be someone else that says "hold my beer" when you think you've seen all the drama. 

Sure, fans are disappointed that Tim Connelly decided to stay with the Nuggets, but people turn down jobs all the time. Everyone wanted him to be the guy, but it didn't work out.

Things could be a lot worse.

Always remember, at least you're not a Lakers fan. 

First, there was Magic Johnson eviscerating the organization on First Take.

Then, conveniently enough, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka had to face the media while introducing his new head coach that clearly wasn't anything near his first choice, on the same day. He did all this while faking a smile with us all knowing he was fuming inside. 

 

The Lakers continue to be the most dysfunctional team in the NBA, and just can't seem to get out of their own way. Now granted, if Magic really wasn't ever around the organization, it's understandable that people might be upset. We've all worked with that person that just always seems to be out of the office. 

That being said, the airing of the dirty laundry, the hiring of their tenth (?) choice at head coach, and the terrible disaster of a 2018-19 season all put together continues to sink the Lakers father and farther down the respectability list.  

Not to be outdone though, #NBATwitter made sure to bring us another round of Kevin Durant social media drama, going after Fox Sports' Chris Broussard. 

Followed by some random guy named "Kam".

This is the thing about the NBA, it's reality TV when you're not watching games. Some love it, some hate it, and most refuse to admit that deep down you can't get enough of it.

So just remember Wizards fans, you might not be getting Connelly, but at least the Wizards aren't fighting with random fans on Instagram. And that, in this week's rankings of the NBA's greatest soap opera-inspired drama, is some great offseason news.

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