Kevin Garnett is tired. "The last four or five days have been exhausting," he said. "Mentally more than physical." So you wouldn't blame him if he skipped the All Star game completely. He won't do that, but he says that this is his last one.
Kevin Garnett said last night that his 14th All-Star Game appearance on Sunday in Houston will also be his last, though the Celtics forward stopped short of saying he was retiring at the end of the season. Garnett, realizing he had just set off an alarm, then turned cryptic. He has two years remaining on his contract. "This is definitely my last All-Star Game," he said. "Ya’ll don’t know what I know. I’m more than grateful, and I’m not going to act like I have more All-Star Games in me. I’ll enjoy this one with friends and family. That’s what I meant."
I'm not sure that's all that he meant. Reading between the lines (always tricky with KG) it isn't a big leap to assume that he's thinking about retiring this offseason. He can still play, but he's gone out of his way to talk about how much it takes for him to be ready to play each game.
Maybe he's hinting to Danny (or more than hinting behind closed doors), that this will be it and he'll leave his salary on the table at the end by signing his retirement papers. We don't know. All we can do is speculate at this point. But that might have a big influence on what Danny chooses to do next week.
On the other hand, it is hard to think of Kevin Garnett walking away from ...well anything. Quitting is not in his vocabulary. We're talking about a guy that yells at coaches for taking him out of games. He wouldn't even allow Doc to keep him out of last night's game.
"I've seen everybody playing through everything, and I'm no different than that," Garnett said. "Paul's tired, everybody's tired, and no one's full energy right now, so I felt like that was unfair. If he wasn't going to give everyone the night off, then that wasn't an option. I just came out and gave what I could."
One of my favorite stories about KG was from training camp a number of years back. It was practice and the coach wanted to give some younger guys some run so he pulled KG out of the scrimmage. Instead of sitting down to rest, he did sprints up and down the sideline following the action on the court until the coach had to just put him back in.
The guy just doesn't understand the word "quit."
Of course, no player can play forever. So we'll see.
Also, unrelated to KG but in other old-guy news, Pierce has been hurt the last few months but didn't tell anyone till now.
Celtics forward Paul Pierce admitted after Wednesday's win over the Chicago Bulls that he's played part of the season with a pinched nerve in his neck. "It's something that's been bothering me probably for like the last two months," said Pierce. "It's getting better, though. The last couple weeks, it's been better than it has been."