Garnett clarifies all star comments


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."

Baynes confident he and Morris will provide physical play to Celtics frontcourt

Baynes confident he and Morris will provide physical play to Celtics frontcourt

BOSTON –  Aron Baynes doesn’t have to say a single word when he walks into a room.

Standing 6-foot-10, 260-pounds, his mere presence says a lot about his focus when he's on the floor which is to be a physical, tough guy.

And Boston’s other addition from Detroit, Marcus Morris?

He’s cut from the same cloth which is a good thing for the Celtics who could use a few more bangers in the frontcourt.

Baynes is confident that he and Morris will provide Boston with the kind of physical play it needs to build upon the success the team enjoyed last season.

“He’s got a great work ethic and I love the way he plays,” said Baynes, referring to Morris. “You know he brings a bit of toughness to it and yeah, I’ve always had fun playing with him and he played with our second unit a lot in Detroit and we always did good things when we were together on the court so I’m excited that he’s here as well and yeah, we look forward to bring some extra toughness.”

The Pistons didn’t have nearly as much success as Baynes or Morris would have wanted, but it certainly wasn’t due to their play on the floor together.

The duo formed Detroit’s best two-man unit defensively with a defensive rating of 93.5 - tops among all of Detroit’s two-man units which played at least 30 games together.

In addition, their offensive rebounding percentage of 22.2 and defensive rebounding percentage of 82.2 speaks to how they can be a force on the glass as well.

As a team last season, Boston’s offensive rebounding percentage was 21.2 which ranked 25th in the NBA, while their defensive rebounding percentage of 75.3 ranked 27th in the league.

While Morris doesn’t dispute the toughness he and Baynes can bring to the Celtics, it’s not something he spends much time thinking about.

“You know I don’t think that’s the thing you work on,” Morris said. “You just have to have that type of attitude and you know I think it’s just the NBA’s instilled in me to bring that toughness so I don’t think that’s something we’re going to have to worry about.”

And as far as Morris’ take on Baynes, he sees Baynes as – you got it – a tough competitor whose presence and play will help Boston this season.

“He’s a tough guy,” Morris said of Baynes. “At practice, he competes at the highest level every day. Since I’ve been in Detroit with him, he came and (brought) it and you know that’s the type of guy you want to play with and not against. So, I’m happy he’s on our team. I think he’s going to be a big, major piece for us.”