BOSTON -- Kevin Garnett turns 36 years old on May 19.
He is well aware and quite frankly, doesnt want to hear about it.
Not because he has issues with getting older, but because of the insinuations and assumptions that are made about it.
After posting a double-double with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocked shots in the Boston Celtics series-clinching Game 6 against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday,. Garnett took the podium and made a few things clear.
You know what, I dont want to come off kind of wrong, so you (turns to Rajon Rondo sitting next to him) tap me if Im out of line here, he said. I take my craft very seriously. I guess being 35, soon to be 36, not 37, 76, look it up, that I put a lot of work into my craft. I take this very seriously. I always have since 95, since Ive able to come into this league. And its almost like you guys are shocked. Like this aint what I do everyday, like this aint what I was built for.
It comes off kind off like a -- Im not going to say that. It does come off kind of disrespectful at times. I put a lot of effort and work and time into this so when I hit the floor, there are certain things I expect from myself, certain levels I expect out of myself.
Garnett contributed 8 points and 5 rebounds in a critical fourth quarter. He accounted for half of the Celtics offense during that stretch.
He averaged 18.7 points and 10.5 rebounds over the six-game series. Thats six games in which he put it all on the line, like he prides himself on doing every night.
I take this very seriously, Garnett said. So you guys calling me old, that number just fuels the fire. You all have no idea what you are doing when you do that. So I appreciate you all. Whoevers writing the old comments and all that, keep doing that. I appreciate that. I dont read your columns but it gets back to me. Alright?
Garnett has already won an NBA championship. He has already established himself as a future Hall of Famer. He doesnt have anything left to prove, regardless of his age.
So what keeps fueling him to win at this point in his career?
Not knowing if this is my last year to play, he said. Playing against younger talent, being competitive. Im a very, very competitive person. Im playing with great guys, even better younger guys that are getting better, great coaching staff and a great organization with good people that are workings in it. Im self-motivated but to come here every day is an easy thing to do. Youre going to have some hard days, rainy days, blah blah blah, but for the most part, its easy sailing here. I look forward to wake up and coming in.