Kevin Garnett contemplating retirement
The big man’s 20th year in the league may be his last.
Kevin Garnett brought an NBA title to Boston in 2008. He played six seasons for the storied franchise before shipping down to Brooklyn in 2013 for the twilight of his career. And Friday, when the Nets visited the Celtics, Garnett may have played his final game on the parquet flooring of the TD Garden.
Now in his 20th season in the NBA, Garnett talked about retirement after the Nets beat the Celtics, 109-107.
“At this stage, it’s always somewhere lurking in the back [of my mind], whether I admit it or not,” Garnett said, via the Boston Globe. “Being truthful with you, sometimes I think about it. I saw Paul [Pierce] the other day in New York and we had a conversation. At this stage, when you know that things are, not taking for granted, but more appreciated, it crosses [your mind]. I wouldn’t lie about that.”
Garnett wasn’t ready to make it official just yet, however. When asked directly about retiring at the end of the season, he responded, “I don’t know. I’d like to say that I give each year its own, and assess at the end of that.”
The 38-year-old Garnett has failed to live up to his Boston stats in Brooklyn, but has been more productive in his second season with the Nets. After averaging 6.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game last season, he’s playing 22.6 minutes per game and putting up 7.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He’s averaged 18.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game over his career.
Garnett, who jumped straight from high school to the NBA in 1995, has continually been one of the league’s best big men. As his career comes to a close, he’s approaching many a milestone. Net’s Daily put together a few of Garnett’s possible accomplishments:
- If he plays 24 more games, he will have played 1,425 career games, which would be fifth all-time. He would surpass Reggie Miller and Jason Kidd.
- If he can play 540 more minutes, he will become the fifth player to play more than 50,000 career minutes, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kidd and Elvin Hayes. If he plays 653 more minutes, he will move past Hayes and Kidd into third place all-time. Along with Abdul-Jabbar and Malone, he will join the 50,000 minute, 25,000 point, 10,000 rebound club.
- And if he can grab 192 more defensive rebounds, he would end the season — and perhaps his career — as the NBA’s leading defensive rebounder, more than Malone. He needs 82 offensive rebounds to move into 20th place all-time in that category.
Whether it’s this season or not, Garnett is going to enjoy his final season. Back at the Nets’ media day in September, he talked about Derek Jeter’s season-long goodbye. Garnett, who isn’t receiving gifts at each stadium, did take lessons from one of baseball’s best. “Watching Jeter and his whole thing has been inspiring,” he said, “What I took from it is to enjoy this because you never know when it’s going to be your last.”