BOSTON -- Kevin Garnett made another place for himself in NBA history on Tuesday night when he grabbed 13 boards and passed Shaquille ONeal for 12th place on the all-time leading rebounds list.
I haven't checked my phone today, Garnett said following the Celtics 97-92 overtime win against the Houston Rockets. I looked and my light is blinking very rapidly so that means I've got a couple messages, probably from the Big Fella.
With 13,100 rebounds, Garnett, 35, moved past ONeal on the big mans 40th birthday. Hakeem Olajuwon holds the 11th spot with 13,748 rebounds.
Garnett momentarily looked back on his 17-year career and expressed his gratitude for those who were part of every rebound. (In the spirit of appreciation, he also thanked members of the media more than once for waiting until almost 11:20 p.m. for him to speak.)
History is history, he said. I'm very fortunate to be in a position to be part of NBA history. It's always been a big deal for me to leave a legacy or leave some footprints, if you will, or some type of mark on the game. And to play along one of the best, if not the greatest big man to ever play the game, it's more than a pleasure to be in the same category if not on the same list. So I'm more than honored. To all coaches and players that I've played with that have put me in the position to be able to create some of those footprints and some of those marks. So thank you.
Garnett leads the Celtics with 8.3 rebounds per game this season and has averaged 10.7 over his career. His 13 points and 13 boards on Tuesday gave him a double-double in five of his last six games.
You have to be passionate, got to have some know-how, got to have some wit, some gutness in you, some type of passion, some type of drive, a decent work ethic, he explained. You know what, until Celtics Vice President of Media Relations Jeff Twiss told me, I didn't even think about that. I try to go out here and give my team an edge. Other than that, when you guys bring it up, then I pay attention to it.
So what does Garnett like most about crashing the boards?
I like nothing about it, he replied. I like nothing about it. It's something I have to do. It's something that I'm decent at and something I know how to do. So that's what it is.
Over 13,000 rebounds later, decent is an understatement.