When last season ended, Kevin Garnett was not even sure he was going to come back to play in the NBA again. Then he was traded to Brooklyn. At first he didn’t like the idea of leaving Boston and had a no trade clause he could have evoked, but it was clear that Boston was beginning a transitional phase so he thought about it.
The more Garnett thought about it, and thought about the Nets, it eventually caused him to change his mind. He would play again, he would go to Brooklyn, and the reason was because he wants another ring.
“I’m here to get another ring,” he announced as he sat down in the media room at the Barclays Center on Monday. “That’s the only reason I came to Brooklyn…The only reason.”
When he discussed what it would take for the team to win, he brought up the word sacrifice, like he always does. He’s mentioned that sacrifice is not always easy, but that it has to be done for the good of the team. Once again this means that KG’s minutes will have to be limited to keep his 37-year-old body healthy all season.
One of the things that Nets head coach Jason Kidd has discussed as a possibility was to keep Garnett from playing in back-to-back games. After all, the Nets are playing in a lot of them this year and it takes its toll on the body. However, KG was not having it and actually met with Kidd to discuss it.
How’d the meeting go?
“It didn’t go to well,” Garnett deadpanned. “I’m just being honest. I understand what he’s saying. He’s trying to make sure I’m durable and can get through an 82 game season. So I’m totally understandable about what it is. I’m trying to be receptive. I just don’t want to be told anything. I’m hoping that I’ve earned the right to have an opinion on that.”
Like he said though, the goal is to keep him healthy for 82 games plus the postseason. The problem, KG said, was that by potentially missing more than 10 games next season, he thinks it could have an effect on the team’s chemistry. “From a chemistry standpoint it would be better for me to be out there with everybody.”
That doesn’t mean he won’t ultimately listen to his coach. Kidd is just three years Garnett’s senior, but The Big Ticket talks about the new coach Kidd with tremendous respect.
“The obstacles are there for us all,” Garnett said. “I think the obstacle of winning a ring itself is a major one it doesn’t matter if you’re an experience coach or a first year coach. Jason will prove a winner. He’s won before and he’s a great leader. I was with him a couple of years in the Olympics where I got to see him first hand and never forgot it.
“Jason goes 110 mph and works at the same rate and if you’re not working at that rate then he’s going to tell you about it. Anybody who has played with Jason knows about this and anybody that has seen him work, and seen has how prepares, they know.”
In fact, Garnett said that he expects their relationship to work out in his favor. “I played for (Doc Rivers) and he really understood my body. I see Jason taking some of the same cues from Doc. They have been on the phone with each other. I wonder what that conversation was like. I can tell in Jason’s approach though that everything is about betterment. The fact that he’s come from a similar situation as me will be good.”
So while KG might not agree with Kidd’s decision to play in, or better yet to not play him, in back-to-back games, it doesn’t sound as if this is going to create any drama. When it comes down to it, Garnett respects the heck out of Jason Kidd.
• KG on Brook Lopez: “Brook is already good. Whether I can add on to or anything he needs from me, I’m going to try to make myself as available as possible and that goes with anybody on this team. I try to be an open book to any of my teammates. ”
• On the Nets edge this season: “I think we all have a little edge to ourselves coming here. I understand the process of which it was all dealt. I’m sure I have a little edge, I’m sure Paul has a little edge. I think everybody here has a little edge. I don’t think the Nets players that were here last year were happy with the results.”