Raptors head coach Dwane Casey may have refuted any idea that there was mistrust in his locker room last season, but that hasn’t stopped fans and media alike from weighing in on the matter from all corners, including former NBA players.
Carroll’s remarks found their way South of the border to ESPN’s The Jump Wednesday where the recently retired Paul Pierce and Stephen Jackson shared their less-than-flattering opinion of how the new Brooklyn Nets forward went about his business.
“DeMarre Carroll, why are you even talking,” Jackson said. “If anybody passes you the ball you should be happy. Play defence – you’re Bruce Bowen – just go in the corners, shoot threes and be happy. You shouldn’t even have an input. You’re not good.”
“It’s not that he’s not good,” host Rachel Nichols followed up.
“He’s not good enough to have an opinion,” Jackson deadpanned in response.
Pierce wasn’t as harsh as Jackson, but also didn’t mince words.
“This is what happens when we give everybody a voice. Like, come on, leave it alone,” Pierce said. “You left Toronto, you’re on the Nets. Be happy there. Just be happy. Don’t take shots at Toronto now that you’re gone, understand that you’re a role player.”
The two former players’ words don’t come without weight. Pierce was a 10-time NBA all-star and won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2008, while Jackson was a 15-season NBA veteran and won a championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.
Carroll was recently traded to the Nets in a salary-cap clearing move by the Raptors. He originally signed a four-year, $60-million deal with Toronto in the summer of 2015, but injuries and poor production over the last two seasons marred what many thought to be a good signing at first.