Kevin Garnett told WEEI this morning that he will retire as a Celtic. After being asked, “Is this your last stop, the last place you want to be?”, Garnett responded, “Yup, this is it. Last train stops in Boston.”
Garnett’s only been in town for three years, but he’s already a beloved Celtic whose story will forever remain embedded in the franchise’s rich history. It’s like one of my friends told me back in 2008: “I know this is going to sound weird, but hear me out. Kevin Garnett just came to Boston this season, but it’s like he was born to be here. He’s always been a Celtic, he just used to wear the wrong jersey.”
Does that make any sense? I couldn’t tell back then, and I still can’t now. But Garnett has fit seamlessly into Boston’s mindset, and has been easily embraced by a hardworking city that appreciates Garnett’s pitbull mentality. It only fits that he’ll retire as a Celtic, where his legacy was cemented by his first (and hopefully not only) championship ring.
- Other tidbits from Garnett’s interview:
- Tell me if I’m wrong, but I think this means Garnett swears around his 2-year old daughter: “Cuss words are a part of life, let’s say that. You know what, I always said if a kid has never heard of cuss words, they don’t know what I’m saying. I don’t promote cussing, but it helps. I look at it like it’s straight to the point. It’s nothing that I’m proud of. If I could stop, I would. But [expletive]. This is me. If you don’t like it, then you don’t have to like it. This is who I am, though.”
- “Shaq is going to fit in perfectly with us,” Garnett said. “He’s a jokester, but he’s a man first, he works, he comes in, he’s great, I respect that. His voice will obviously be heard in the locker room and be respected.”
- Garnett on his mentality after being traded to Boston: “Well, the first thing is that I let it be known to Paul that this is his team and Ray and I are coming to his team, we’re there to help him, along with ourselves, to get a title. That was the first thing I said to Paul in the back room in front of Doc [Rivers]. And that’s the way we work. This is Paul’s team, whatever captain says is what it is. Obviously, we have the rank and we have the years and stuff, but the respect for individuals has to be there before anything else, and Paul’s been, since Day 1, been through the grime and the grit of what the Celtics are all about. He understands that we’re newcomers, we respect everything about this organization, but he’s lived 18 losses [in a row in 1996-97], he’s been through the different roster changes, the different personnel, he’s actually gotten to be around Red [Auerbach] and pick his brain. The history, you can’t discount that. I’m a very powerful person, but I’m a very respectable person.”
- Garnett on being a nutjob on the court: “When it comes to competing, being in shape, passion — none of those things are lacking, not with me. When I get out on the floor, man, I’m going to compete. I wear my heart on my sleeve with anything that I do, anyway. Basketball is one of the things I enjoy in this world, so it’s like I’m having a tryout here. When I work out, I work out to better myself, to better my craft. Basketball is pure enjoyment for me.”