If Doc Rivers ends up staying in Boston, the Celtics might have Kevin Garnett to thank. (SI)
You would have a hard time telling Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce you’re not coming back, I said, especially if they plead with you to return for another year — which is something I expect they’ve done already and will continue to do this summer.
“That’s very difficult for me,” Rivers said, pursing his lips and stiffening in his chair. He was trying hard to not cry. “Because Kevin is … he’s the best. So … that’s very true.”
You get choked up just thinking about saying goodbye to him, I said.
“I do, whenever …” Whenever he thinks about leaving? He left that part unfinished. “He’s the best.”
You’re referring to Garnett’s dedication to the team? “Yes,” Rivers said, “and it’s pure. He is purely about winning. I’ve never seen anything like that. And sometimes he doesn’t play well, sometimes he doesn’t handle things well, whatever. But his heart.”
I’ve said it a billion times before and I’ll say it a billion times again: You can disagree with some of Kevin Garnett’s antics, but the way he plays basketball — all heart, passion and unselfishness — should be emulated by every child in America. And if it’s so hard to say goodbye, Doc, I recommend you come back for another run at it.