Collins has deep respect for Garnett

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Collins has deep respect for Garnett

BOSTON Whenever Kevin Garnett decides to call it a career in the NBA, he will be remembered by many for many different reasons.

Sixers coach Doug Collins recalls learning about Garnett well before he became a perennial all-star and about as close to a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame as there is in the game today.

"I remember when I was in Detroit, I had just taken the job, and he was coming out of high school," Collins recalled. "Not a lot of people were allowed to watch him work out."

Collins, however, was one of the fortunate ones.

"I happened to know his agent and I got an interview with him at a hotel," Collins said.

Being a high schooler, Collins had no idea what to expect.

Needless to say, Collins came away even more impressed with Garnett the person as he was with the player.

That was Collins' first experience with seeing just how prepared Garnett is for all situations.

"The guy knew more about me than I knew about myself," Collins said. "This is a young guy who has incredible respect for the game and he's going to be an incredible player and he has been amazing."

Collins added, "He's a great talent; he's got an incredible motor. His focus, every practice, every shoot-around ... every game is important to him. He's become a terrific leader."

And even now during the sunset of his NBA career, Garnett's passion for the game is as strong as ever.

"I don't know if there's anybody in the NBA that loves to play more than he does," Collins said. "Or loves to compete more than he does."