paul pierce

The franchise, basically forgotten by the NBA during its final few seasons in New Jersey, suddenly has become a force — something new Net Paul Pierce, is still trying to come to grips with.

“You’re definitely surprised, because since I’ve been in the NBA, when you’ve looked at the Nets, you always looked at them as bottom-dwellers,” Pierce said Thursday. “They have only put a couple of winning teams out in the last 10-15 years since I’ve been in the league, [and] nobody really respected them.

“Now they’ve got new owners, now they’ve got a new building, now they’ve got a new attitude. … You can definitely see a change in what’s going on, and I can see this organization really rising to the ranks of the respectability of the Lakers, of the Knicks, of the Celtics. That’s what they’re trying to build, but in order to do that you have to have the players, you have to have great management and you have to have great owners, and that’s what I see in place here in Brooklyn.”

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post