Kevin Garnett turned 39 years old on Tuesday, and this summer he'll have to make a decision as to whether or not he'll return for his 21st season in the NBA. Garnett, who spent most of his professional career with the Minnesota Timberolves, was traded back to Minnesota this past season after spending over a year and a half as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
Most of Garnett's impact on the Nets, during his brief sting in Brooklyn, was related to his leadership on and off the court. In particular, how he helped in the growth and development of then-Rookie Mason Plumlee.
From a brilliant piece by Howard Beck at Bleacher Report, Plumlee said of Garnett:
The first time I met him, he just told me, "Look, I've done it all. I've been an All-Star, I’ve been MVP, I've won a championship." So he’s like, "Everything that I tell you is for you. It's coming from a place of success, a place of—you know I want you to do well, because I've done it all." He's like, "I want to play and still be good, but I don't have to prove myself anymore." It's funny, he says that and then he plays as if to prove himself each night. I always remember that. That just gave me trust in everything he told me, that it wasn't for anything but my betterment.
Plumlee also called Garnett "a little nuts," but noted that he's nuts "in a good way."
Garnett waived his no-trade clause in order to return to the Timberwolves, in a deal that netted Brooklyn 26-year-old Thaddeus Young. It was a steal of a deal for the Nets. However, it also made sense for Garnett, who is/was able to finish his career in Minnesota.
Old friend Paul Pierce, who has now made it his mission to take shots at Brooklyn, made a comment which of course was petty but, also, very Paul Pierce.
On Garnett waiving his no-trade, Pierce said:
I thought he made a good decision. I told him, "The people of Minnesota are really going to appreciate you more than they do in Brooklyn." And I think he felt that.
Garnett averaged career-lows across the board as a member of the Nets, and while he wasn't as beloved in Brooklyn as he was in Boston or in Minnesota, for reasons that make perfect sense, he certainly was appreciated by the Brooklyn fans -- as much as a fan base could appreciate someone who played 20 minutes per game, half a season and averaged about six and six per game.
Maybe Pierce was talking about the organization, but were he taking a shot at the fans, well, since he, like us, has all the time in the world this summer to reflect on his time in Brooklyn and whether or not the fans did their due in appreciating both Garnett and Pierce.
Enjoy your summer, Paul! Hope you appreciate the time off.