Garnett grateful for career accomplishments

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Garnett grateful for career accomplishments

DENVER The locker room had all but emptied out, with Kevin Garnett the last player still around. It is an image that those of us in the media who have followed his career that began in Minnesota and lived on in Boston, have seen countless times.

For fans, images of Garnett have a certain individuality about them as well which in itself, ironic.

Because when you talk about the greatest players of this generation, often they are clumped into groups of scorers, or rebounders, or assist men.

And then there's Garnett, one of the best all-around players not just of this generation, but to ever play the game. When it comes to such comparisons, words are hollow if they're not backed up by numbers.

And Garnett?

Oh he's got numbers. Hall-of-Fame, milestones-by-the-minute it seems, numbers.

In Boston's 98-91 loss at Denver, Garnett became the first player in NBA history with career totals surpassing 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists and 1,500 steals. He came into the game needing one assist, and finished with five.

For any player to surpass any one of those barriers is an accomplishment. But for one man to do so, and still compete at a relatively high level, is astounding.

"To be honest, I'm not a stat guy," Garnett said. "But anytime you make accomplishments in the league, milestones, you gotta be grateful."

Indeed, good health - and a healthy work ethic - are both essential to having the kind of career Garnett has had.

But ultimately, it comes down to having a desire to be more than good, but great.

And while some see that as being able to score a lot of points or grab a lot of rebounds, Garnett has never viewed himself in such a one-dimensional prism.

"I've always told you guys, that's what I am. My greatest strengths are sometimes my greatest weaknesses. if you know anything about me, my personality, I'm not one-dimensional. It's multi-facets that make up the man that's in front of you. At the same time, I work really hard at understanding the game and trying to perfect my craft."

That work ethic has been a constant throughout his career, drawing younger players to approaching the game the way he does, like a moth to a flame.

"When you see a player that's as good as he is, working so hard all the time, treating practices like games, you can't help but work harder," Celtics guard Avery Bradley told CSNNE.com. "I pride myself on having a great work ethic, but KG his work ethic is on another level. That's what makes him such a great player."

And while Garnett has certainly put his time in working out, conditioning his body on the beaches of Malibu, and countless, blurry-eyed sessions of breaking down video, he's quick to remind folks that his path to basketball greatness involved many others.

"You just don't reach milestones by yourself," Garnett said. "You need help. and I've always wanted to give that thanks to not only the coaches, but former players I played with, former teammates, great friends. The milestone is a great one. I'm very appreciative of it. Someday it'll be a big deal to me. I'm honored."

Flip Saunders has been a part of Garnett's development, both as his coach in Minnesota, and as someone who tried to come up with game plans to stop him.

"He's always going to play with a great amount of passion. He's always going to play hard. He makes winning plays," said Saunders, who coached against Garnett in Detroit and later, Washington. "As all guys, when you get a little older, he doesn't probably block as many shots as he used to and doesn't have the same total athleticism, but he's got a lot of minutes on those legs. He's going to do whatever it takes to win. Whatever Doc asks him to do, he's going to do that."

Said Garnett, "duration is everything, man. To be able still, to be playing on this level, it says a lot. It's not like I'm playing on some grand level, but I am playing on a decent level to where it's helping the team and I'm still trying to create different edges and different matchups and different mismatches night-in, night-out. And I still have a brain; I still know how to think this game. There's different formats of the game for me at this point. And I'm still enjoying the game. As long as those components are still a part, then I'm good."
But Garnett, who will be 36 in May, has been arguably the Celtics' most consistent player this season. In addition to averaging 15.2 points per game, he's also grabbing a team-best 8.2 rebounds and dishing out 2.8 assists while playing the center position almost exclusively

Garnett doesn't like being a center, but he plays it - and plays it well - because that's what the Celtics need from him.

"That's the great thing about this team," Celtics guard Keyon Dooling told CSNNE.com. "Everybody is willing to sacrifice, because everybody is on the same page, with the same goal and that's to win, win as many games as possible."

And Garnett is often the jumping-off point to the selfless mindset that for the bulk of his time with the Green Team, has been a staple of the Celtics.

But it's not easy, Garnett will tell you, to be all that he can be for himself and the Celtics.

"Every year, trying to better myself, finding things that I need to work on, staying motivated, keeping my body those are not easy things," he said.

And as for all the milestones that he seemingly reaches every game, Garnett said, "I'm blessed man, I'm fortunate. By no means is this something you just wake up and it just happens."

McAvoy added to Team USA roster, wants to make ‘big impact’ with Bruins next season

McAvoy added to Team USA roster, wants to make ‘big impact’ with Bruins next season

Since he wasn’t eligible to return to the AHL and join the playoff run for the Providence Bruins, 19-year-old Charlie McAvoy will instead don the Red, White and Blue and play for Team USA in next month’s World Championships in Germany and France.

It will be the fourth time that the Bruins defenseman has represented his country in a world championship event, but the first time that McAvoy will be skating for the men’s national team after crossing over into the pro ranks this spring. 

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The B’s 2016 first-round pick just finished a six-game stint in the playoffs with the Black and Gold where he totaled three assists and a minus-2 rating in while averaging a whopping 26:12 of ice time. McAvoy made all of those comparisons to Drew Doughty seem appropriate, rather than far-fetched, in his playoff performance while logging huge minutes, moving the puck, defending well enough and flashing the physical skills to be a do-it-all No. 1 NHL defenseman in the near future.

It’s fair to say he was just scratching the surface of what he can do while getting dropped into a trial-by-fire debut in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but some experience at the world championships will be another nice step toward getting him ready for full-time NHL duty next season.

“I’ve played in a couple of different jerseys this year, and I just feel so very fortunate to have been able to put on every single one of them. Each experience had its own lesson to help me grow and improve as a hockey player,” said McAvoy, who has played for Boston University, Team USA in the World Juniors, the Providence Bruins, the Boston Bruins and now Team USA in the world championships within this calendar year. “I have a quiet confidence about myself, but before you experience something like the [Stanley Cup playoffs] you don’t know how you’re going to fare. It was a credit to my teammates and a guy like Zdeno Chara that me in a position to succeed every time I was out on the ice.

“I still think there’s a lot I can learn, and I lot I can grow into. I’ve had just a small sample size of experience, but I feel like I can have a big impact on this [Bruins] team. It’s something I’ll have to work on all offseason to put myself in the best position to come in and have immediate success, but it’s something I’m committed to.”

McAvoy said at Tuesday’s break-up day that he was ineligible to return to Providence in the AHL playoffs once Boston was eliminated last weekend, and it looks like Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari will be the only Bruins players hopping on board for the P-Bruins playoff run.

In an added bonus, McAvoy might even be able to convince fellow Bruins prospect and Notre Dame forward Anders Bjork to sign with the Black and Gold as he’ll also be on the Team USA roster looking to medal in the world championships. 
 

Iginla reportedly buys $4.5 million house in Boston

Iginla reportedly buys $4.5 million house in Boston

It’s not quite “_____ was spotted at Logan Airport,” but here’s a fun one for anyone who digs speculation: Jarome Iginla apparently just bought a house in Boston. 

Iginla, now 39, played the 2013-14 season with the Bruins on a one-year, $1.8 million contract with easily attained bonuses that essentially prevented the team from being able to re-sign him the following offseason. After scoring 30 goals for Boston, Iginla signed with the Avalanche before being traded to the Kings halfway through the final year of his three-year pact. He totaled 14 goals over 80 games between Colorado and Los Angeles in the regular season.

Now, the Boston Business Journal is reporting that the future Hall of Fame forward has purchased a house for $4.5 million in Chestnut Hill, citing a Norfolk County deed. 

Iginla said after the regular season that he is unsure of his NHL future, but that he'd prefer to keep playing.

“I would say I’m leaning toward believing I’ll come back,” he said following the last game of the season, per the LA Daily News. “It’s fun, but at the same time I’ve got to go and talk with the family and see. I don’t really know for sure. Being here the last month has been a lot of fun.

“I definitely would like to play more than calling it a day. But saying that, there’s a lot of things that go into it. I don’t know for sure. I’m hoping. I’m hoping to play again. It doesn’t feel like I want that to be the last one.”

To take the purchase as a sign Iginla is set to return to the B’s would be a stretch. Plus, dude hasn’t even been spotted at the airport.