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Ian Eagle: Kevin Garnett can be with the Nets for the "long-term"


Ian Eagle, YES Network's play-by-play commentator for the Nets, spoke to CLNS Radio Saturday about the direction of the Brooklyn Nets. During the interview, Eagle spoke about the future of Nets' legendary big man Kevin Garnett and why the Nets dumped Paul Pierce.

"This could be just the start of a long-term relationship," Eagle said of KG. "Kevin's got a lot of interest outside of just playing basketball, as we know, and I think he saw Brooklyn as an opportunity to try to capitalize on a number of those interests."

Eagle notes that he sees the Nets as a prime target to utilize Garnett and that he can have a wide range of opportunities with the team after he finishes his career on the court.

Kevin has a lot of interests outside basketball as we know and i think he say Brooklyn as an opportunity to try to capitalize on a number of those interests. When the smoke clears, I wouldn't be surprised if Kevin Garnett has some role moving forward beyond his basketball-playing years, whether it's within the Nets organization, whether it's with ownership, whether it's within the marketing aspect of this team, whether it's just within Brooklyn. That could be something to keep an eye on down the road. Kevin sees a bigger picture here than just playing one more year with the Nets."

One possibility: overseas marketing: Garnett, as China Daily reports, is "arguably the most popular player in China."

Eagle doesn't see Garnett as a coach, however, "My feeling is not from a coaching standpoint, that would shock me, something like that. I just don't see -- he just takes every possession so seriously and it would drive him nuts."

Eagle continued to say that Garnett will be linked to basketball, one way or another. 

"But I do think he's got a bigger picture in mind. Whether it's the brand, whether it's the global aspect, there's something else there with Kevin. I don't think he's the guy who's just going to go away and you never hear from him. Kevin's going to dabble in a bunch of different things."

As far as Paul Pierce's departure, Eagle said the Nets were driven by finances and a desire to change the team's philosophy.

"I think a lot of things were based on the direction of the team combined with the finances. Paul was certainly looking at a certain number to stay with the Nets and the early discussions were not fruitful. The numbers I heard thrown around were 10 to 11 million a year, looking for a two-year, $20 to $22 million deal. And while the Nets engaged in some early discussions that once the decisions were made to trim some payroll, and go a bit younger, they decided that Paul didn't necessarily fit in with the long-term plan."

So he said the Nets made a decision: "cut your losses" and decided, "time to move on."

"Decisions were made, they looked at the finances. They looked at the risk reward and obviously we know some stuff happened behind the scenes with Jason Kidd that eventually led him to Milwaukee and the plan has changed. So not only are you judged in this league by whatever plan you have in mind as a general manager as an owner as a decision maker. You're also judged by what your 'Plan B' is and the Nets 'Plan B' has been to get a bit younger, and trying to make the transition that they're making while also maintaining some kind of competitive balance."