In an interview after the Bulls game on Feb 13, Kevin Garnett said: "This is definitely my last All-Star Game." When asked how he could be so sure, since he has another two years left on his contract, he replied: "Y'all don't know what I know." When reporters jumped on this, he smiled to himself, and backtracked with a story about friends and family.
Here's the video:
Garnett: 'This will be my last All-Star Game'
- About a week ago, KG said he would not approve any trade unless Paul Pierce left the team first.
- Paul has said in the past that he came back this year largely because KG did.
- And both KG and PP recently said they want to "retire a Celtic." (Implying that the current trading season will determine that, one way or another.)
It seems these guys have decided to tie themselves to each other.
This has been a tough season for the two of them. The losses in the first part. The injury to KG's favorite little guy, Rajon. Losing two more guys in rapid succession. Having to work EXTREMELY hard lately to win emotionally-charged games. The injury to PP (revealed by Ainge during the Bulls game)...... They're tired. Tired of the fight.
And there was this, after the Nuggets game:
Exhausted KG hugs Paul Pierce after Denver Nuggets win
What does it all mean? It feels like they've decided to walk away from the game together. But when?
They don't want to go down ignominiously, or due to injury. They want one last grand battle, win or lose. I believe they're going to fight THIS SEASON.... fight to go as far as they can possibly go.
They know that injuries have (once again) made their prospects for winning the championship dimmer than they should be. But they also know that injuries are part of the game. And they both surely want to avoid that one last, career-destroying trauma that has felled so many players before them. (They'd like to be able to walk around without pain, in the rest of their lives.)
For now, they can and will force their bodies to perform at peak levels... Though Time has taken its toll, it has not yet diminished their ability to will their youthful selves back. So far. They understand that it can all change in an instant... one wrong move on the court, and it's all over.
But they'll fight, while they still can. This one last time.... one final push up the mountain.
"Time enough to rest when we die. Or retire."
And then, at season's end, I believe Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will hang em up. Together. Two warriors, strong and proud.... they'll walk off the field of battle in a blaze of glory... and be gone.
- I think that's what the hug was about. "We're exhausted. But we can still do this. If you can do it, I'll do it too. Together."
- And that's how KG knows this is his last All-Star Game.
- And it's why they've tied themselves together.
- And it's why they both have talked about this trading season as the one that will determine the jersey they wear when they retire.... because they know this is the last deadline they'll ever have to suffer through.
When they finally walk away, I don't think anyone could blame them. They will have given us -- their beloved team and adopted city -- everything that was in their power to give. It's been more than enough.
But we still have another half-season to go! Who knows how they will add to their legends in that time? They might even make it all the way up that mountain....
Anything is possible.
(Please extend your read to Wicklow's comment, below.)