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NEW YORK – Paul Pierce wore that color starting in 1998, when the Celtics drafted him.
He wore it as he became one of the franchise’s most iconic players, as he helped win it a championship, cementing his legacy and that his jersey will one day hang from TD Garden’s illustrious rafters.
But Tuesday night, in the first season since 1998 that he won’t wear the color that he once said he bled, Pierce wore white and black, with “BROOKLYN” across his chest, and he faced his old team for the first time in a preseason game that his new team won, 82-80, at the Barclays Center.
It was weird, but it was always going to be weird — for Pierce and for the teammates he left behind after being dealt to Brooklyn in a blockbuster swap that also sent ex-Celtics Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets in exchange for a cadre of players and first-round draft picks.