Kevin Garnett: ‘I have nothing positive to say’ about Minnesota Timberwolves
|03.30.12 at 2:36 pm ET|
On Friday night, the Celtics are shooting for their fourth straight victory and a sixth win in their last seven games when they travel to Minneapolis, the city Kevin Garnett called home for his first 12 NBA seasons.
Loyalty means everything to Garnett, and as we learned following Wednesday’s defeat of the Jazz, that devotion moved to Boston from Minnesota when the Timberwolves sent him to the Celtics in 2007 for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, cash considerations, their 2009 first-round draft pick and Minnesota’s 2009 first-round pick that they had traded to Boston in the Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak deal.
“It’s always special to come back to true fans and sort of your foundation, but as far as that franchise, I have nothing positive to say, so I’ll just let it be that,” said Garnett. “I think Kevin Love is playing at a high level. I think he’s rejuvenated the city as far as basketball goes. Other than that, nothing else.”
To say Love is playing at a high level might be an understatement, as he’s averaging 37.3 points and 16.3 rebounds over his last four games and playing himself into the MVP discussion. There’s been plenty of comparisons between Garnett vs. Love, but recently Garnett has guarded opposing centers, so it will be interesting to see if the two actually square off head-to-head in Friday night’s matchup.
Speaking of Garnett at the five position, as colleague Paul Flannery noted, he could be the perfect fill-in for the Celtics at center for the next two or three years. That would allow the Celtics to remain competitive with Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and whoever else while maintaining some flexibility for the next round of superstar free agents in two or three years, when the C’s could make a run at someone like — you guessed it — Love.
Of course, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves thinking about the 2015-16 NBA season. First, Garnett must decide if he’ll return to the league next year and whether or not that loyalty still belongs in Boston.
“I love Doc [Rivers],” Garnett told Mut & Merloni on Thursday. “If I was to come back next year, it would be probably for Doc. I don’t want to limit my options or none of that. I don’t know what I’m going to do next year. I know our team has changed. I know a lot of guys when I came here are not even here anymore, so that sense of family has been depleted a little bit. I’ll sit and make my decision and figure out what I’m going to do.
“This league is not easy, coming in here and playing these young guys who are future stars and potential stars. It’s not easy. To come out here and play plus minutes in this game and be effective is very hard, the mental part of this is even harder, the travel — I don’t have to go through the list of things that are difficult and which I’ve been able to survive, but I never wanted to be pieced around, I never wanted to be treated like a pawn or a piece on the board.
“Loyalty in this game has been depleted on both sides. The business of this league is terrible for players. It’s all over the place. I have to choose and make a decision to whether I want to be a part of the future of that. I wish players would take more of a stand in our league, understand that it’s a players’ league and be more effective and more affirmative in that position, but I’m getting older. They tend to not respect you as much when you’re older and tend to put you on the back burner for what you can do versus what you used to be able to do.
“I never want to leave the game on a low note or things to where I see it as less than, so I don’t know. I have some decisions to make, but you know what? If it had to end today, I’ve enjoyed my ride, I’ve enjoyed playing the game and being competitive, playing against the greatest talents in the world when it comes to the game of basketball, so I have some decisions to make. But other than that I’m having a good time, trying to enjoy the guys that are around me, this team, and hopefully go into the playoffs, put some things together and make something happen.”