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."