Garnett clarifies all star comments

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Garnett clarifies all star comments

HOUSTON Kevin Garnett prides himself on being able to anticipate situations before they actually happen.

But even he was caught off-guard by the firestorm he created following comments he made after Boston's 71-69 win over Chicago on Wednesday.

"This is definitely my last all-star game," Garnett said after the Bulls win. "Y'all don't know what I know. Put it like this, I'm more than grateful for going (to the all-star game). I'm not gonna act like I got more all-star games in me or whatever. So I'm actually going to enjoy this one with some friends and family."

It created confusion as to whether this was Garnett's round-about way of announcing his retirement.

Knowing those questions would surely come up, Garnett addressed them in the early moments of availability on Friday.

You know, anticipating something before it happens.

"It (Wednesday's comments) came out like I was saying this is my last," Garnett said on Friday. "But I can't just ... I'm not an egotistical guy or nothing like that. I wasn't just going to say that, 'yeah, by the way I'm gonna be an all-star next year.' To be honest, I'm more than grateful, honored and humbled to have this opportunity.

Garnett added, "I wasn't going to make a comment that I felt was out of hand, to say next year, I would be 'this.' So that's what those comments (meant)."

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul considers himself among the many young players in the NBA who appreciates what Garnett has meant to the league.

And the idea of Garnett not being an all-star next season is something Paul isn't buying.

"He said this is the last one? That's only if he retires," Paul said. "Because if he's in the league, he'll be an all-star."

Garnett has two years remaining on his contract and has no intention of retiring.

But at his age, every summer brings about the possibility of his NBA career coming to an end.

For now, Garnett's focus is on what it always seems to be on this time of year - the moment.

Boston has won eight of its last nine games, is four games above .500 (28-24) and Garnett's play has been among the main reasons for the improved play.

"I try to focus on the year and what we're going through versus thinking about things that aren't even here yet," said Garnett, who reiterated that his comments following the Bulls win were not a veiled indicator that he was planning to retire after this season. "Each year, I always access myself. As long as I'm able to be able to give something to a team, be productive and hold up to the standards that I'm comfortable with, then and only then do I think about things like that. We're in the midst of a season. I'm two-feet in. That's what it is."

Horford believes Celtics give him best chance at 'ultimate goal' of NBA Championship

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Horford believes Celtics give him best chance at 'ultimate goal' of NBA Championship

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Pinpointing the exact moment Al Horford made up his mind to become a Boston Celtics isn’t clear, but the seeds of that decision can be traced back to last year’s playoffs – and no we’re not talking about the playoff series between Boston and Atlanta, either.
 
It was the Hawk’s second-round playoff series back in May against Cleveland, a team that swept them out of the Conference finals in 2015 and did so again last about five months ago.
 
Horford had every intention of returning to Atlanta, but as the free agency period wore on two things became quite clear: Winning an NBA title would have to go through Cleveland and it happening with him in Atlanta was becoming more and more unlikely.
 
In came the Celtics with a pitch that was heavy on present-day and down-the-road potential that wouldn’t require him to do anything other than continue to play the way he has for the past nine seasons.
 
“It (becoming a Celtic) became real for me real late and real quick,” Horford told CSNNE.com on Wednesday.
 
After mulling it over for a couple days, Horford said he was ready to become a Celtic.
 
“This could be a great opportunity even though I’m leaving a lot behind,” Horford said.
 
As you listen to Horford speak, it’s clear that the Celtics mystique played a role in his decision to sign with Boston.

 But as much as the Celtics’ lore and its on-the-rise status helped, there were certain events that Boston had no control over that actually helped their cause.
 
First the Hawks got in on a three-team trade in June with Utah and Indiana which sent Hawks All-Star point guard Jeff Teague to the Pacers while Atlanta received Utah’s first-round pick which was 12th overall and was used by Atlanta to select Baylor’s Taurean Prince. The move allowed Atlanta’s Dennis Schroeder to slide over into the now-vacant starting point guard position.
 
While it may help Atlanta down the road, it did little to move them closer towards knocking off Cleveland anytime soon.
 
And then there was the Hawks coming to terms on a three-year, $70.5 million deal with Dwight Howard early in the free agency period. That deal coupled with Atlanta’s desire to bring Kent Bazemore back, cast serious doubt as to whether Horford would return.
 
Horford, who inked a four-year, $113 million deal with Boston, told CSNNE.com that at the time of Atlanta’s deal with Howard, he was still open to the idea of returning.
 
But if Horford did, he knew figuring out the best way to play him, Howard and Paul Millsap who by the way has a player option that he’s likely to exercise which would make him a free agent next summer, was not going to be easy.

“It was definitely going to be different,” Horford said, then adding, “For me, the Celtics were becoming more and more a realistic option. After talking with my family, we felt this was the best for me.”
 
And while it’s still very early in his tenure as a Celtic, Horford has no regrets or second thoughts about his decision.
 
“As a player you always want to be in the best position you can,” Horford said. “I felt for me being on this team would put me in a position to be able to contend and win an NBA championship. That’s my ultimate goal.”
 
And that alone makes him a good fit with this franchise which from ownership to the front office to the coaching staff and of course the players, are all focused on one thing and that’s bringing home Banner 18.
 
 “Look at the resume. He’s been a winner wherever he’s played,” said Boston’s Amir Johnson. “It’s good to have a guy like that, with his talent and with his winning, playing next to you.”