Kevin Garnett: ‘You trust no one’ in NBA lockout
|09.01.11 at 12:41 pm ET|
Celtics all-star forward Kevin Garnett joined The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday morning to promote the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.” He discussed everything from not trusting the NBA owners, to the possibility of an extension with the Celtics, to how close he was to joining the Lakers, toShaquille O’Neal hitting a softball over the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
Here are the highlights from my transcription of Patrick’s interview with Garnett. Enjoy what was a great conversation …
Dan Patrick: Do you trust the owners?
Kevin Garnett: You trust no one in this, to be honest. You trust the players, because we are all communicating, and it is negotiating, but you never trust the other side, you know? Because you don’t know what they’re thinking, and you don’t want them to know what you’re thinking. You try to come to some common ground that makes sense going forward.
DP: Do you think the owners want a season?
KG: I don’t know. I’m not on the owners’ side. I don’t know what they want.
DP: But you have to understand your opponent, I guess, if you go into a business agreement. I just get the feeling that they’re willing to sacrifice a season.
KG: Naw. You say that, and you hear that, but you don’t understand some of the motives of some of this. We have a take, and we have a stand that we’re going to take on some issues. I think at the end of the day common ground will be found. I just think that this game is too beautiful, with everything that’s going on and all the story lines that surround our game, I can’t see just blowing away the season. But I think if we did, both sides are prepared for that.
DP: You’ve got a year left on your contract. Have you talked about an extension?
KG: Truthfully, no, I haven’t. [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge], in passing, every joking moment that we have, he’ll throw something up in the air, and it’ll be funny and we’ll laugh at it, but it’s not concrete. No.
DP: Did you ever say, Danny, how about you stop joking and let’s talk business here?
KG: No, because I haven’t gotten to that point where I’ve made that decision.
DP: Well, how long do you want to play?
KG: I don’t know. I’m enjoying playing with the guys I play with. I’m enjoying the game. There are likes and dislikes and everything. I’m no different from that.
DP: Imagine if you’d stayed in Minnesota. Would you still be playing?
KG: Uh, no. I would not still be in Minnesota, first off, because it was something that would have to give. Going to the transition, ‘Sota is my second home — they’ve always showed me love — but going through the process, I probably would’ve done it a little sooner, just because I know where Glen [Taylor]‘s and where management’s mind was, and it wasn’t on the same thing as mine.
DP: Remember when you were criticized? You were loyal to a team, and that everybody said, ‘Well, Garnett doesn’t want to win.’ You didn’t want out of Minnesota, but you were loyal to your team.
KG: Hey, man. It’s a double-edged sword sometimes. It goes like that, man. There’s no perfect answer in this, you know? Everybody’s the expert.
DP: How close were you to joining the Lakers?
KG: I was pretty close, to be honest. What’s disturbing about the whole Lakers situation was just Kobe [Bryant] and Phil [Jackson] at the time. They were at each other pretty bad, and a new situation full of uncertainty wasn’t something that I wanted to get into.
DP: It was your choice not to go to the Lakers?
KG: It was my choice, yes.
DP: Because you were worried about the friction with Kobe and Phil?
KG: No, I wasn’t worried about it.
DP: But that was going on?
KG: There was a lot going on, and I didn’t want to be a part of it.
DP: You got room for me on a one-year deal on the bench? I could be sort of a [Brian] Scalabrine type.
KG: You willing to give up that body of yours, man? Scal gave up a lot. He was big for us. I know people like to crack little jokes about Scal. Scal’s in the league for a reason.
DP: How about a 10-day contract?
KG: We’ll give you a 3-day. How about that? We’ll help you out. Ten days? By the third day, I’ve seen people tap out. Training camp’s no joke, man. It’s very serious. It’s called a professional sport for a reason.
DP: Could I score in a preseason game?
DP: Let me ask that again. Could I score in a preseason game?
KG: You could not score in a preseason game for the simple reason that if a guy is really trying to get a job, and Dan Patrick is on the floor, and I’m guarding him, and he’s guarding me, there’s no way.
DP: What if I get the picket fence they ran in “Hoosiers,” and I come off a pick?
KG: You can get three picket fences, and you could get a whole gate if you want to, you have a better chance at hitting a home run over the Green Monster than scoring a bucket in an NBA game.
DP: Have you ever taken batting practice at Fenway?
KG: No, but we did play a softball game in there, and I hit the top of the Green Monster. Shaq hit it over the Green Monter. I saw [Rajon] Rondo hit the top of the Green Monster twice. And Luke Harangody hit it twice. I’ve seen that. I bear witness to that.
DP: Can you imagine Shaq as a baseball player? Put him up there with a batting helmet, going to the plate against one of these guys.
KG: Shaq’s the dopest, man. It was truly an honor to play alongside dude, man. It was truly an experience. This year was probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time in the NBA. Straight up.
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