Kevin Garnett's minutes are reduced. Even though he's still starting, his numbers for January were worse than last year, which were the worst in his 20-year career. He can still rebound and still defend, but he understands that as the team's prospects continue to dim, there will be rumors about whether he wants out. He wouldn't dismiss them.
He told reporters that he remains "all-in here," but wouldn't address specific rumors that he might want to re-join Doc Rivers in Los Angeles, where he maintains a home. In short, he wouldn't deny the possibility of a buyout. Instead, KG provided a thoughtful but not necessarily promising commentary on the Nets situation and his own...
"I knew it was going to be a challenge this year with Paul (Pierce) leaving. Every time you give away experience like that, it's going to be difficult. The younger guys, the Europeans, all that. Chemistry, transition.
All those variables go into a lot of things. So it's not like I came in here thinking one thing and then it being another. I understood, I came in here ready to play, having a different mindset. But for the most part I never put myself above the agenda of the team which is winning, helping young guys progress. That's me. I give. I haven't thought too much of my own personal (stuff)."
That KG would be addressing such rumors now isn't a surprise. Rivers and the Clippers arrive in Brooklyn Monday night. Moreover, ESPN analyst Jalen Rose said during the Nets’ loss to Toronto on Friday that he expects Garnett to ask the Nets for a buyout so that he can move on to a contender, specifically the Clippers.
How did KG react to that?
"When my situation comes up, I'll obviously give it some attention. Other than that, my attention is trying to get us on a winning streak, get us on a road where everybody's playing together."
Under the terms of the CBA, KG would have to be waived by March 1 to be eligible to play for another team in the playoffs.