Kevin Garnett, charming and confident, spoke about the Nets at practice Monday, but he spoke mainly about his career as he enters his 20th and perhaps final season.
"I'm very aware of the history. I told Kevin McHale when I came in here (the NBA) after my first practice -- to be not cute or not you know kinda smart -- but he kind of cracked a joke that I had a bunch of ice on me. I was just turning 19 and I was hurting and I told him that I wanna be in this league for half my life. And he kinda just giggled, but he never knew what was inside."
Once he steps on the court this season, KG will join only three other NBA players --all big men-- to play two decades in the league. It's one of a dozen or so milestones he's either reached or will soon reach. He said he didn't consider retiring this summer, but did last summer.
"I prepared myself this offseason like I have, not last year because I was indecisive in what I wanted to do with the decision-making," Garnett told beat writers. "This year, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and I did that throughout the whole summer. So I’m in more better spirits because I know what I’m here to do this year and I’m here to enjoy this...
"I know what to expect this year living in New York ... Under Jason (Kidd), I didn't know where I fit in. Coming in with a little more edge, a little more assertive,: he added.
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."
KG also spoke about playing power forward again, after playing the center last year.
"Man, now that I got used to playing the 5, I got to get used to playing the 4. Man, it's terrible," he joked. "But like I said, as long as I'm on the floor, and contribute, that's what's important."
Asked how Brook Lopez and Deron Williams were doing, Garnett offered positive assessments. "They look great, actually," he said. "Brook looks powerful. Deron looks like he's confident. So I'm hoping we can carry that over."
Can he picture himself being a coach one day, "Absolutely not!" he fairly raged.
Lionel Hollins continued to offer his own positive assessments and said that since Monday morning's practice ran an hour long, he decided not to run a second session Monday night. He said some players are having difficulty early moving from a system based on isolation plays to one based on motion and admitted Sunday evening's practice "was a little tough." But Jarrett Jack said the Nets have someone who can help, noting how similar Hollins system is to Jerry Sloan's in Utah.
"It's crazy that the system we're putting in is a little bit similar to the one he ran back in Utah," said Jack of Williams. "So he's walking people through it who are not familiar with it. And he knows a lot of tricks and little back doors to it." Jack described things so far as "three very very strong practices.'
Asked who among the new players has looked good, Jack said "Jerome Jordan has been special for us. Being a big guy and coming in here and trying to learn all these new rules." Jack also said "Markel Brown has done some things that really raised some eyebrows early."
The Nets resume practice Tuesday, one month before opening night in Boston.
- KG unfazed entering 20th season - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Lopez: 'I'm ready to play' - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Hollins: D-Will confident as ever - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Deron catches on quick with new Nets offense - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Entering 20th NBA season, Garnett hasn’t lost edge - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Garnett says he's back to his old self again, ready for season - Stefan Bondy & Justin Tasch - New York Daily News
- Kevin Garnett aims to enjoy his 20th season - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Kevin Garnett Back for One More in Brooklyn - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Nets training camp report: Early impressions of Hollins - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Is this Kevin Garnett's last year? - Eddie L. Bolden Jr. - The Brooklyn Game
- Garnett Begins His 20th NBA Season Full of Sound and Fury - Lenn Robbins - Brooklyn Nets