KG 'absolutely' considered retiring before trade

KG 'absolutely' considered retiring before trade
July 18, 2013, 4:15 pm
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For the past couple of years, Kevin Garnett has at least entertained the idea of calling it quits on what has already been an illustrious playing career.

But the thought of retirement was given serious thought this offseason before ultimately being traded to Brooklyn, along with Paul Pierce and Jason Terry.

Garnett said Pierce's uncertain future with the Celtics was among the chief reasons why retirement was "absolutely" in the cards as an option he gave serious thought.

"I didn't know Paul's situation and where the Celtics were with Paul," Garnett said.

The C's could have bought Pierce's contract out for $5 million on or prior to June 30. But in order for the trade to go through with Brooklyn, the C's allowed the deadline to pass and thus guarantee Pierce would be paid $15.3 million this season.

During the season, Garnett had hinted that Pierce's status with the C's would have an impact on whether he would be returning to the court this season.

"Paul's a big, huge part of playing together and accomplishing things," Garnett said. "Which makes this whole thing bittersweet. I'm leaving one chapter and opening another. But I'm doing it with guys I've been knowing for a long time."

Still, Garnett admits it won't be easy leaving a franchise that positioned him to win a championship, something that had alluded him during a career primarily spent in Minnesota.

But there were plenty of signs that as much as Garnett loved the Celtics, they were trending in a direction that didn't necessarily coincide with his desire to play for a title contender.

"When I saw the Doc Rivers' situation, I kind of knew the writing was on the wall, even before then," Garnett said.

Former Celtics coach Doc Rivers went back and fourth about whether he was returning for what would have been a 10th season as the C's head coach.

Rivers and the C's ultimately decided to part ways, with the Celtics receiving a future first-round pick as compensation for allowing Rivers out of his contract which was worth $21 million over the next three years.

That allowed the Clippers to name Rivers as their head coach as well as Vice President of basketball operations.

Meanwhile, it made the idea of leaving for Boston a more palatable reality for Garnett.

"I had my connections there," Garnett said. "It's tough leaving (Rajon) Rondo and other things. But new chapter, new things to embrace and that's what I'm doing."