Back in September, at Media Day, Kevin Garnett was cagey on the subject of retirement but without prompting, he spoke about Derek Jeter's long goodbye.
"Watching Jeter and his whole thing has been inspiring and what I took from it is to enjoy this because you never know when it’s going to be your last." he said. "Salute, salute, salute to my man."
Then, Friday in Boston, he spoke post-game about the possibility of leaving the game after this, his 20th year. Many Celtic fans, thinking it would be the last time they'd see him, treated him well.
"At this stage, it’s always somewhere lurking in the back [of my mind], whether I admit it or not," Garnett said. "Being truthful with you, sometimes I think about it. I saw Paul [Pierce] the other day in New York and we had a conversation. At this stage, when you know that things are, not taking for granted, but more appreciated, it crosses [your mind]. I wouldn’t lie about that."
When asked directly if he was planning on retiring after his season, KG responded, "I don’t know. I’d like to say that I give each year its own, and assess at the end of that."
KG is having a bit of a renaissance this year, playing more minutes under Lionel Hollins than he did under Jason Kidd. But he is 38.
He is well prepared for retirement, having made $327 million in NBA salary alone --more than any NBA player-- and with a long list of achievements which grow and grow. He recently started his 1,500th straight game, regular season and playoffs.
Other career milestones seem within reach...
--If he can play 24 more games, he will have played 1,425 career games, fifth all-time, surpassing along the way Reggie Miller and Jason Kidd.
--If he can play 540 more minutes, he will become the fifth player to surpass 50,000 career minutes joining Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kidd and Elvin Hayes. If he plays 653 more minutes, he will move past Hayes and Kidd into third place all time. Along with Abdul-Jabbar and Malone, he will join the 50,000 minute, 25,000 point, 10,000 rebound club.
--And if he can grab 192 more defensive rebounds, he would end the season --and perhaps his career-- as the NBA's leading defensive rebounder, more than Malone. He needs 82 offensive rebounds to move into 20th place all time in that category.
KG, who will be a free agent this season, has repeatedly --and vociferously-- said he has no interest in coaching, but he has hinted he'd like to be an owner ... of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Kevin Garnett Talks Rondo Trade, Retirement, and His Appreciation of Boston - Brian Robb - Boston Globe
- Nets surge past Celtics in Kevin Garnett's likely Boston farewell - Mark Murphy - Boston Herald
- Misty Kevin Garnett mulls end - Steve Bulpett - Boston Herald
- Garnett on ’08 Celtics title team: 'We're infinite' - A. Sherrod Blakely - Comcast Sports Net
- Stevens: Garnett 'has too much energy to retire' - A. Sherrod Blakely - Comcast Sports Net
Kevin Garnett contemplating retirement - Liam Boylan-Pett - SB Nation
- Kevin Garnett takes likely final bows in Boston - Rod Boone - Newsday
- KG talks changing of Celtics guard - Chris Forsberg - ESPN Boston
- Has Kevin Garnett played his final game in Boston? - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
Celtic fans salute Kevin Garnett in his potentially last game in Boston - Kelly Dwyer - Yahoo! Sports