When it was obvious the Celtics were going to lose Game 7, Doc Rivers subbed out his Big Three one final time for the season.
For Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, we know it won't be for the final times of their careers -- but what about Kevin Garnett?
Garnett hasn't publicly spoken since the loss, and being an unrestricted free agent going into his 18th season, there's a real chance he even retires. He could also go to any other NBA team interested in bringing him on.
But Kendrick Perkins, a former teammate of Garnett's, tells the Boston Globe that he thinks if Garnett does choose basketball for at least another season, the Celtics are his team.
I feel like if he does return to basketball, I think that that would be the team, Perkins said of the Celtics. I heard Kevin say a few times that he wouldnt want to play for anybody but Doc, so it will be interesting to see. I still think he got a lot more years in him. He got a lot of love for the game and it would be hard to see Kevin walk away from the game right now.
Perkins went on to say that Garnett found the "Fountain of Youth" this season, and that was pretty apparent based on his averages: 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 blocks. Those numbers compare with his 2008-09 season cut short by a knee injury that forced him to miss the end of the regular season and entire postseason.
With Garnett hitting free agency during an offseason where there aren't a lot of great centers, there should be numerous teams vying for his services. But if Perkins is right, Garnett will tune them out.
Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine talk with Boston Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens at Celtics Media Day about raised expectations for the upcoming season, how Al Horford will fit, can Isaiah Thomas build off an All-Star season, and how high are his goals.
Plus, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss whether or not some critiscism could come Stevens' way if the Celtics doesn't perform well in the playoffs.
MORE PODCAST Isaiah Thomas: ‘Just getting to the playoffs in Boston isn’t good enough’
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WALTHAM -- The national anthem protests by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick have had an undeniable ripple effect on professional sports teams across the country. And that includes the Boston Celtics.
“We as an organization know what’s going on,” said Marcus Smart. “We read and see and hear about it every day. It’s a sensitive subject for everybody.”
While it’s unlikely that Celtics players will do something similar to Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem, there’s no question some are figuring out the best way to utilize their platform as athletes to express their views on current social issues.
“Us athletes have to take advantage of the stage we’re on,” said Jae Crowder. “Try to make a positive out it. You can’t fix negative problems with negative energy. I don’t want to do anything negative; I want to do something positive, shed light on the situation.”
Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and a number of professional athletes have tried to have more attention paid to recent killings of African-Americans by police officers where, based on the video footage, it appears excessive or unnecessary force was used.
It is a topic that has brought a wide range of responses from many in the sports world, including the dean of NBA coaches, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.
During the Spurs’ media day this week, he was asked about the Kaepernick’s protests.
“I absolutely understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and I respect their courage for what they’ve done,” Popovich told reporters. “The question is whether it will do any good or not because it seems that change really seems to happen through political pressure, no matter how you look at it.”
As examples of the political pressure he was referring to, Popovich mentioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ability to galvanize group, as well as the NBA and other organizations pulling their events out of the state of North Carolina because of its legislation as it relates to the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
“The important thing that Kaepernick and others have done is keep it in the conversation,” Popovich said.
And while there may be differing opinions as to whether Kaepernick or any other athlete should be protesting, the one common thread that seems to bind the Celtics players and the front office is them having the right to speak out not only as professional athletes, but Americans.
“The biggest thing is we all really value the freedoms that we have and that we’ve been allotted,” said coach Brad Stevens, who added that he has had individual discussions with players on this subject. “We certainly support an individual’s freedoms. It’s been great to engage in those discussions. It’s been really fun for me how excited our guys are about using their platform.”
And that more than anything else is why Crowder feels the Celtics have to have a united front as far as the message they present to the masses.
“If we want change we have to do it together,” Crowder said. “I feel like those guys (other athletes) used their platforms well. I think more athletes should do the same. You can’t do it with any hatred; you can’t do it with any negative. You have to do it with positive energy.”