Kevin Garnett shoots down retirement chatter, talks about commitment to Celtics
Less than 48 hours ago Kevin Garnett sent Celtics fans, the media, and the twitterverse into panic mode when he said that this year's All-Star game would be his last, and seemed to hint at retirement. Personally I never gave a ton of credence to the comments considering A. KG's impossible to read, he never gives direct answers and B. Comments made after a grueling stretch of games where a ton of his teammates went down with serious injuries are always going to be clouded with emotion, and should be taken with a grain of salt. With that said, it was good to see Garnett speak about the comments today at All-Star availability in Houston.
Ben Rohrbach of WEEI's Green Street had a great run down of KG's news conference (link), including his clarifying of Wednesday night's post-game comments.
This is what KG said when asked the question a first time.
I took the question as if somebody was asking me about next year," said Garnett prior to his 15th All-Star Game appearance, "and I had no insight into saying that I was going to be a definite All-Star, so it came out like I'm saying, 'This is my last,' but I'm not an egotistical guy or none of that, and I wasn't going to just say, 'Yeah, I'm going to be an All-Star, so I'm going to be here next year.' To be honest, I'm more than grateful to be here. I'm obviously honored and humbled to be here with this great class of guys, and I wasn't going to make a comment that I felt like was out of hand — to say that next year I would be here, because next year no one knows. That's where those comments came from
This is Garnett being asked the question a 2nd time.
Every year you make this, it's not something that you take for granted," he said. "That's all I'm saying. Some guys go a whole career and never get a chance to obviously experience an All-Star event, and I'm more than grateful. You know what I'm saying? I wasn't going to be in a position to where I was speaking on next year and my production next year and what it is. I have no idea, so that's where those contents mainly came from.
And a 3rd time.
I try to actually focus on this year and what we're going through vs. thinking about things that aren't even here yet nor do I have to entertain. Each year, I always assess myself, and as long as I'm always able to give something to a team and be productive and hold up to standards that I'm comfortable with, then and only then will I think about things like that. We're in the midst of a season, I'm two feet in, I'm totally committed and that's what it is. We're going through some rough times as far as personnel and losing major guys on our team, but as far as the team I think we're playing together and decent basketball right now, and we've gotta be ready for the second half of the year.
Hey KG, how about a 4th time?
I should've never said that, right?" he said. "Again, for those who weren't here, I made the comments on the future of being an All-Star, and I wasn't comfortable with saying or solidifying that I was going to be an All-Star next year, so I made the comment about this year being my last, understanding that this is not given and that this whole experience obviously has been a great one. I'm not looking ahead, but obviously planting my feet in the present. That's what the comment was. If I have to keep rebuttaling and keep explaining, then that's fine with me.
And finally, Garnett ran out of steam when asked the question a 5th time.
I ran out of answers for that question.
I obviously wasn't at the availability, but judging by the fact that reporters asked Garnett the same question a staggering 5 times, I'm guessing they were really looking for a "Hey guys, I'm done after this year" or a "That's not what I meant, Ill be back for another season". Guys, guys, guys - that wasn't going to happen. This is KG. He does not give direct answers to questions. Not now, not ever. Personally I estimate that there is close to a 90% chance Garnett is back next year considering he's still a legitmate All-Star, is owed $26 million dollars, and plays for a good team with two of his best friends (Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo). The only chance I can see him walking away is if the C's deal Rondo and Pierce, and can't find a deal that placates Garnett (which is probably a one team list - the Clippers). I never for a second believed he was walking away after last year, despite the fact that he 'hinted' at it a bunch, and I don't think it's happening after this year. Too much left to give, and some serious money to still be made.
As for some other highlights from KG's press conference, Rohrbach had some really good quotes in his article.
On the C's being 8-1 since losing Rondo -
We're playing together. When you lose guys, your strength is in your numbers and each other. Not one or two guys are leading this team. I think as a committee we're consolidating a lot of things, and it's working. Defensively, we're one, we're talking and we're playing hard. We're playing hard as crap. Night in and night out we're giving ourselves a chance to win every game, and that's all you can ask.
Can't argue with this. The Celtics are playing incredibly hard, and effort can win you a ton of regular season games. However I'm still very intrigued on how the Rondo-less Celtics play in the playoffs. Say what you want about 'on-again, off-again' regular season Rondo, but he has been a playoff monster. He will be sorely missed in the second season.
KG on his favorite All-Star moments -
Meeting Wilt Chamberlain in Cleveland was a huge one. Kobe [Bryant]'s first All-Star Game in New York, we was clowning, being some young guys. '03 in Atlanta, because it was close to home and I had a bunch of friends and fam down to see me. [Michael] Jordan's last All-Star Game.
Funny, I can remember watching the '03 All-Star game and wanting to kill myself because all the East squad did was feed MJ for fadeaway jumpers. Would of been awesome if he hit any of them, but he went 9-27. Still cool to hear Garnett reminisce though.
And finally, when Garnett actually does retire, what are his plans? -
I don't see myself being an actor.
Well that sucks. I was really hoping for Kazaam 2, with KG taking over for Shaq. Oscars everywhere.
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