Garnett clarifies all star comments

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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."

Report: Rajon Rondo preparing to attempt to play in Game 5

Report: Rajon Rondo preparing to attempt to play in Game 5

Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo is putting in the work in an attempt to play in Game 5 Wednesday, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania.

Rondo, who fractured his right thumb and wore a forearm cast during Game 4, was spotted at practice Tuesday dribbling and shooting in a much smaller thumb splint. There's a chance he'll play against his former team in the Boston Celtics. Here's what The Vertical wrote on Rondo.

Around Rondo and the Bulls, there’s belief that the four-time All-Star has a chance to return but a final determination has not been made, league sources said.

The guard originally received a two-week timetable from doctors on April 21. However, he has a history of making improbable returns from injuries. In 2011, he played through a dislocated elbow. In 2013, he played a few minutes after tearing his ACL.

The 31-year-old point guard averaged 7.8 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 69 games this season. In two games this postseason, he has averaged 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 10 assists and has shot 42.3 percent from the field.

And the Bulls, who are tied with the Celtics 2-2 in the series after jumping out to a 2-0 lead, are desperate for his return. They've cycled players like Michael Carter-William, Jerian Grant and Isaiah Canaan in and out of Rondo's role in the Bulls starting lineup.

Isaiah Thomas on Fred Hoiberg's complaints: 'I don’t carry the ball'

Isaiah Thomas on Fred Hoiberg's complaints: 'I don’t carry the ball'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Following Boston’s Game 4 win at Chicago on Sunday, Isaiah Thomas was asked about Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg’s comments that he carried the ball.

The question drew instant laughter from Thomas’ two sons who sat next to him on the podium. 

“It’s not that funny,” Thomas told them which drew a chuckle or two from the assembled media members on hand. 

Thomas is right, especially if Hoiberg’s complaints result in officials looking closer at Thomas’ ball-handling and do in fact take Hoiberg’s comments to heart as Boston and Chicago gear up for a pivotal Game 5 matchup. 

“I only know one way how to dribble,” Thomas said following Boston’s practice on Thursday. “I’ve been dribbling the same way my whole life. Maybe it was strategic or something. I don’t think they’ll call it on me.”

Thomas said he was watching NBA TV recently where he saw that he had been called for carrying two times this season. 

And just to get a sense of how often the ball is in Thomas’ hands, he made 4,234 passes while averaging 55.7 passes per game during the regular season which ranked 15th and 24th, respectively, in the NBA.  

When Thomas heard about Hoiberg’s complaint, he admits it was an unexpected rationale behind how Thomas torched his roster in Games 3 and 4. 

“I was very surprised,” Thomas said. “Out of everything else that I do on the court, you want to bring that up. It is what it is. I’m going to continue to dribble the ball the way I know how.”

Hoiberg may not realize it, but forcing the refs to pay more attention to Thomas’ ball-handling will also result in increased attention paid to Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo (right thumb) who is listed as out for Game 5 but may return to the lineup for Game 6. 

“Dwyane Wade, Rondo, LeBron (James) … I dribble just like everybody else,” Thomas said. 

Thomas added, “I don’t know what he (Hoiberg) was trying to get at. on. And if I do, every other point guard or every other guard that dribbles the ball, carries as well.” 

This time of year, with the way the series has played out of late, Thomas understands that Hoiberg’s comments may be nothing more than playoff politics with Hoiberg shifting the conversation away from what he has failed to do – limit Thomas – and put the focus on something else.

“It may be,” Thomas said. “I don’t know what he was getting at. There’s a lot of games, a lot of dribbles I made and didn’t carry. I’m gonna play the same way I know how. And that’s giving it my all and doing what I need to do for this team to win.”