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Kevin Garnett on D&H, 11/19

11.19.09 at 4:01 pm ET

Celtics forward Kevin Garnett joined the Dale & Holley Show on Thursday. The Celtics star discussed his health, the challenge of returning from injury, the impact of Rasheed Wallace on the Celtics and the state of this season’s team.

Highlights are transcribed below. To listen to the complete interview, click here.

Last week Rasheed Wallace said he might not have an outside range. What’€™s yours, 75-feet?

Well, if you want to take that shot last night, probably about 80 to 75-feet, yeah, that’€™s about accurate, yeah.

You called it in the air didn’€™t you?

I called it when I let it go, and then Don Nelson sort of said something to me. That’€™s why my reaction was the way it was, because I knew when I let it go, it felt good, but you never know in those situations. I let it go, it felt good, ooh, went in.

I’€™m wondering if fear is the right word to use when you had a major injury for the first time in your career. When you didn’€™t know what was going on, were you fearful at all about what was going on in there?

I fear God and I fear my mother, that’€™s about the only thing in life, other than that it was just straight up pain. At one point I thought it was something that I could play through, I knew when I got home and when I was in my own personal space, that’€™s when I knew it was something serious. Walking up steps, sitting down, laying out on the floor, stretched out on the floor, my leg was constantly bothering me.

And you’€™re talking about a lot of activity, so when I really started to take it serious and the more I got educated on what was going on, that’€™s when I started to make decisions health wise, what was best for me. I was running like I was running with a peg leg, and Doc in practice was like, this is terrible to watch. My effort, I pretty much through was there, I tried to come back, play a couple games, I knew that I was hurt, I knew that I was really hurt, but I was trying to grind through it, trying to give Paul and the rest of these guys some support.

But I just knew at the same time I was probably making it worse by playing. I had a very, very, very rare injury, obviously bone spurs but the size of the spur was pretty irregular, and pretty dramatic. It wasn’€™t until I got to see it then I took it a lot more serious, but until that point I was built off hard work and dedication to your craft. I haven’€™t changed that since I got here, I’€™ve always felt like mind over matter, you know the mind tells the body, but at some point the mind has to listen to the body.

So I just sort of zoned out, did all they did for treatment with all these different kind of people. Everybody got their therapy answer for you, and obviously it didn’€™t work for me. So I had to do the only logical thing which was to actually get cut and go in, but it was a blessing in disguise because I learned a lot not only about my injury, but about my body and how it works and vitamins, and certain things you gotta put in it to balance certain things out and I just got more educated on this whole thing, being hurt and getting surgery, you know that was my first time going through that.

Coming back, just fighting through it, grinding through it, just another obstacle but something I can definitely apply to my everyday life and use it to say you know I got through this hurdle, got though these hurdles to get here, this is another hurdle in my life.

As one of the veteran leaders on this team, have you been satisfied with the overall team effort in these last three games?

Team effort is great, dawg. What I want everybody to understand is that our defense has not changed since day one that I’€™ve been here. And if you’€™re going to ever beat us, you’€™re going to have to really get down to the tape and really do your homework to put shooters here, to put post up guys here, I mean it’€™s real strategic. I’€™m speaking from me now, I feel like if I was coaching against us I would get real strategic with tape and film.

You know we are a help defensive team, when you isolate us and put us in single man overages and you make shots, then it makes it difficult for us at night. And I think what most people are not doing is giving the other team credit for making plays and making shots in that sense. You know, teams that have beaten us have beaten us. I’€™m not going to sit up here and take anything away from them, but our defense is very high throttle, and very much built off of help. So you get a guy like Joe Johnson who is aggressive and puts you in isolations and making shots.

I think where we can get better, where we have to get better is our rebounding. I think our rebounding has dipped a little bit but we’€™re running around trying to help each other, and we’€™re not putting bodies on people, it makes it difficult so second chance points from rebounding are some of the things that I would point out to be some of the negatives, but overall effort man, we ain’€™t never lacked effort and you know that. You see when we play, man, we play 100 miles an hour so I would definitely say that effort isn’€™t the problem, it’€™s just our rebounding, we can get better at that.

Do you feel the same now as you did before the injury?

I can tell a difference just in how I’€™m running, my gait, when I watch myself. A lot of it is just grit and grind, to tell you the truth. I’€™m not the only person out there who’€™s hurt.

My leg feels good. It’€™s a lot like anything in life. You get one thing fixed, here comes another, and I’€™m no different from that. I feel good. I feel like I’€™m close to where I want to be with basketball, it’€™s so

What’s Rasheed Wallace bring to your basketball team?

Other than the obvious things, I think Sheed’s biggest asset is his, a lot of people wouldn’t even think this, but his sense of appreciation for other teammates and the way he’s able to relax you as a teammate. I think one of the things I’ve been able to take away from him is that I sometimes have been told that I’m too serious and that’s just sort of the way I’ve always been. I’ve always taken my craft very seriously and the way I prepare is a certain way and I’m old school with it and he’s light. He likes to keep it light. He likes to keep it mixed up with laughter and solid conversations and stuff like that. The basketball part is the obvious stuff. The fact that he makes us a bigger team from making us more versatile. Defensively, he talks a lot. His range, like you said, is when he comes through the door, so he can also post up. He can block shots. He can give you a lot of different things, but what I value in him is more of our off-court time and how we both vibe. We haven’t spent a lot of time together before this time. You know, I knew him, I say, “What’s up?” I see him out somewhere, we congregate right there and whatever. So, when we play, it’s always high intensity going at each other, but the one thing here we’ve been spending a lot of time together just vibing and chillin’ and it’s helped me to actually enjoy this because sometimes I do get locked in and that’s just me wanting it so bad. I can definitely say I laugh a little more than regular since he’s been here.

How’s the bowling game on the way out?

Bowling game was trash, I’m just going to be honest. I’m not a guy who’s going to put all types of candles and juices and berries and whipped cream on top of mine. I’m just not going to do that. Yeah, it was just straight garbage. But you know what, practice makes perfect, so the more I practice I’m pretty sure I’ll get better.

What kind of trash we talking about? 70? 80?

No, we’re not talking about the big, green garbage can. We talking about the little trash can you keep in your office with the little black bag in it. Maybe about 120, 150, compared to Ray Allen and some of his family who are professional bowlers who 250, 275, 220. Yeah, Ray Allen’s a con-artist, so be careful.

They got their own bowling shirts with their names on it?

Yeah, he’s got Jordan everything. Jordan balls, Jordan bowling bowls, Jordan bowling shoes, Jordan bowling shirt, they got a Jordan bowling hat. I didn’t even know you could wear a hat in bowling.

Read More: Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Ray Allen,
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