Many fans have hoped that former Celtic Kevin Garnett would return to Boston after his retirement to have a coaching role with the C's, most likely to help develop young bigs. However, longtime Nets commentator Ian Eagle feels as though KG will stay on with the Brooklyn Nets post-retirement, but not necessarily as a coach.
From The Brooklyn Game:
Could Kevin Garnett be with the Brooklyn Nets beyond his playing career? One person tied in to the organization thinks so. In an interview released Saturday with CLNS Radio, Nets play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle sees Garnett having a role in the Nets organization after his retirement.
"This could be just the start of a long-term relationship," Eagle said. "Kevin's got a lot of interests outside of just playing basketball, as we know, and I think he saw Brooklyn as an opportunity to try to capitalize on a number of those interests. When the smoke clears, I wouldn't be surprised if Kevin Garnett has some role moving forward beyond his basketball-playing years, whether it's within the Nets organization, whether it's with ownership, whether it's within the marketing aspect of this team, whether it's just within Brooklyn. That could be something to keep an eye on down the road. Kevin sees a bigger picture here than just playing one more year with the Nets."
Eagle admitted that Garnett is "a tough guy to read," but he could certainly see him interested in staying with the organization -- just not on the bench. "My feeling is not from a coaching standpoint," Eagle added. "That would shock me, something like that. I just don't see -- he just takes every possession so seriously and it would drive him nuts.
"But I do think he's got a bigger picture in mind. Whether it's the brand, whether it's the global aspect, there's something else there with Kevin. I don't think he's the guy who's just going to go away and you never hear from him. Kevin's going to dabble in a bunch of different things."
Ian Eagle is well-respected and offers great insight, but he also said earlier this year that Paul Pierce was planning to stay in Brooklyn, so his insights might not always be accurate. Then again, no one really anticipated Pierce would leave for Washington -- I think most were surprised by that move. Eagle offered an explanation for the Truth's departure, citing financial reasons as well as a re-structuring of the team:
Eagle added that Paul Pierce leaving the Nets was mostly "financial" but also stressed the direction of the team. Pierce ended up signing a two-year deal worth approximately $11 million with the Washington Wizards. "The numbers that I heard thrown around (between the Nets and Pierce) were $10, $11 million per year, looking for a two-year, $20 to $22 million deal," Eagle said. "While the Nets engaged in some early discussions, I think once the decision was made to trim some payroll and to go a bit younger, they decided that Paul didn't necessarily fit into the future plans."
Eagle expects the Nets to go back to their core of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez, the core that led the Nets to a 49-win season in 2012-13. He acknowledged that that core had a void of leadership and toughness, which necessitated the Pierce and Garnett trade, but that the trade was still a success from a different viewpoint.
"From a basketball standpoint, they went for broke and lost the second round in the playoffs," Eagle said. "So they're changing their philosophy. ... If their version of success is different: year 2 in a new market, trying to get a foothold on competing with the New York Knicks in the New York area, the there was actual progress."
People can speculate all day long about the future of NBA players after retirement, but I think the players themselves don't even know what they are going to do, and some don't even want to think about it. Kobe Bryant recently stated in an interview that he was "scared" about life after basketball, and Paul Pierce has cited a plethora of ideas to explore, including opening up a restaurant. Right now KG hasn't even committed to returning next year, although most rumors indicate that he will play out the last year of his contract for the Nets.
Even though it contradicts Eagle's insights, I have a feeling we could still see both Garnett and Pierce back in Boston to in some capacity in a couple years -- whether is be on the sidelines as a coach, or as a restauranteur.
Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images
h/t: CSNNE Danielle Hobeika 7/28/2014 03:20:00 PM Tweet