Kevin Garnett on D&C: Offseason a ‘dark place’
|09.29.10 at 11:37 am ET|
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett spoke with Dennis & Callahan at Celtics media day in an interview that aired on Wednesday morning’s show. Garnett spoke of the depressed mood he was in following the Celtics’ NBA finals Game 7 loss to the Lakers.
Said Garnett: “Very dark, to be honest, dark. ‘Just leave me alone, let me be my myself. I don’t want to deal with anything right now. Let me just be in a dark place.’ Just the way I replay the game over and over in my mind, trying to get a resolution to some type of place to where you can settle with it. I never found it, but that’s what it is. I say it’s fuel to the fire.”
Garnett said his passion for the game though has not waned throughout the years. “I feel older in the fact that I’ve played for multiple years,” he said. “But when it comes to competing, being in shape, passion — none of those things are lacking, not with me. When I get out on the floor, man, I’m going to compete. I wear my heart on my sleeve with anything that I do, anyway. Basketball is one of the things I enjoy in this world, so it’s like I’m having a tryout here. When I work out, I work out to better myself, to better my craft. Basketball is pure enjoyment for me.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To listen to the full interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
When you’re done — whenever that is — will it be physical or emotional? Will it be that passion that goes first or will it be the knees?
I think it will be physical. When I retire, it will probably be because I’m hurting on a regular basis. I’m a passionate guy. Anyone who knows me or hangs out with me, they know that if I’m playing a video game or telling a story or something, I’m passionate about it.
How come nobody knows you, other than your family and friends? You’re pretty private, people don’t know much about you. Ray Allen is out playing golf, Shaq is everywhere already, but you don’t see much of Kevin Garnett.
Those guys like to be seen, I like to be in the back.
Are you shy?
I wouldn’t say shy, I’m just private. I think to get to know anybody is a moment. I look at life like, guys get to see me perform, play ball, a lot of things that we do are on blast anyways. So, the little private life that I do have I like to keep it private. I don’t like to — you know, I don’t have a Twitter, I don’t have a Facebook. It’s not that I’m not social. I’m social, but I like to be social with the people I know.
I just feel like everybody out here is not for you. If you let everybody in, you let those people in with that. I just prefer to have my circle tight and have my family and friends close to me. That’s how I like to interact and be around people. Shaq has the personality, his personality’s so big that you can’t really withhold that. Ray is a good golfer. I guess he likes people to see his swing or whatever. I’m just to the back. If I go out and go somewhere I like to sit down and chill. I’m not a rah-rah guy, I’m rah-rah when I’m on the court. I’m pretty laid back.
When you’re in public on the court, everybody knows exactly what you’re thinking. You’re screaming and you’re yelling. Would you like you if you were on the opposite team? Would you think you’re a cool guy or would you think you’re an [expletive]?
I’d think I was an [expletive], because I’m misunderstood. I’m serious. I’m not out on the court making friends. I’m not out there patting guys on the back. I’m trying to bust yo’ ass, period, point blank. When I hit the floor, I’m a certain kind of way, and I never have any excuses for that.
What are you going to do when you’re done with basketball?
Jump into my business, I have a business off to the side. Everybody share that. I’ve talked to Rasheed [Wallace] a couple times and he’s already trying to figure out what the hell to do. But time is good. Time that I look forward to have with my daughter, she’s 2, so I get to be more in her life, watch her grow up and become a young lady.
Are you going to swear around the house when she’s older?
Cuss words are a part of life, let’s say that. You know what, I always said if a kid has never heard of cuss words, they don’t know what I’m saying. I don’t promote cussing, but it helps. I look at it like it’s straight to the point. It’s nothing that I’m proud of. If I could stop, I would. But [expletive]. This is me. If you don’t like it, then you don’t have to like it. This is who I am, though.
Do players in the NBA look at the Miami Heat as the most disliked team? You lost your title, you’re not the most disliked team anymore!
I didn’t even know we were the most disliked, I didn’t even know that, but I know now. Probably because of our style or whatever. You know what, I look at the Miami situation like this: It’s not a gray area. You’re either going to like them or hate them. I actually like them. I haven’t seen them play, obviously, like anybody else, but the additions to that team, the fact that the guys made the decisions based on however they made it, and this is their bed and they’re going to lay in it. I respect that.
What did you and Paul [Pierce] and Ray figure out to get successful with that they’re going to have to figure out to begin this year?
I don’t know, we haven’t seen them play so we don’t know what their style is, we don’t know what they look like. When they go through something we don’t know how they’re going to react. When they lose or when someone gets hurt or when someone goes down, or when someone didn’t get their shots their night, there’s a ton of stuff that you can point at.
But the true essence in a team is when, can you bring something else to the table vs. what you’re known for. Can you impact the game a different way? Are you actually enjoying the experience? Sometimes you get caught up in the bigger picture that you need to get some small detail that makes your team in the first place.
You know, I’ve known Paul since I was 15 and I’ve known Ray since I was 14 and we’ve known each other and I felt like for the most part we had all been established in what we had been doing. And the time when we met up it was perfect, I felt like we were more established players. Everybody coming to Boston at the time we were coming was focused on one thing. It wasn’t about all the stars, it wasn’t about placement over here, first team, second team, we just came to Boston to win.
And do you expect Shaq to be an easy assimilation into this fraternity and this locker room?
I think Shaq should be an easy transition to any team. If you know Shaq, you know he’s laid back, he’s giving, he’s open. And once he gets on the floor, he’s a whole different monster. Shaq is going to fit in perfectly with us. He’s a jokester, but he’s a man first, he works, he comes in, he’s great, I respect that. His voice will obviously be heard in the locker room and be respected.
You made it work when you came here because you didn’t insist on the ball even though you were the most accomplished guy, former MVP, you didn’t have to have the ball at all. Did you ever have a moment where you said, “What about me,” or did you look at Paul and Ray and say, “Those guys are shooters, they’re scorers,” and give it to them?
Well, the first thing is that I let it be known to Paul that this is his team and Ray and I are coming to his team, we’re there to help him, along with ourselves, to get a title. That was the first thing I said to Paul in the back room in front of Doc [Rivers]. And that’s the way we work. This is Paul’s team, whatever captain says is what it is. Obviously, we have the rank and we have the years and stuff, but the respect for individuals has to be there before anything else, and Paul’s been, since Day 1, been through the grime and the grit of what the Celtics are all about. He understands that we’re newcomers, we respect everything about this organization, but he’s lived 18 losses [in a row in 1996-97], he’s been through the different roster changes, the different personnel, he’s actually gotten to be around Red [Auerbach] and pick his brain. The history, you can’t discount that. I’m a very powerful person, but I’m a very respectable person.
Speaking of the compilation of the team, you look at the majority of the contracts and they’re two-year deals. Danny was quoted in the paper as saying, “We’ll look at this in two more years and then probably rebuild this whole thing.” Do you look at this as a two-year window of opportunity to win a title or two?
I look at this as just that — two years and who knows after that. Hopefully there won’t be a lockout next year and we can better our game and get the finances or economics part out of the way, and it can be two solidified years of basketball. But, yeah, that’s how I’m looking at it.
Is this your last stop, the last place you want to be?
Yup, this is it. Last train stops in Boston.