Kevin Garnett, when he wants to be, is one of the best interviews in the NBA, maybe the very best. He’s funny, he’s entertaining, he’s colorful and he’s powerfully emotional.
After Paul Pierce passed Larry Bird for second place on the Celtics all-time scoring list, Garnett spoke at length yesterday about his friendship with The Truth.
A transcript follows.
On his first meeting with Paul Pierce:
“The first time we were on the court, it was beautiful,” he said. “First time I stepped into Inglewood High, we stepped on the floor, we dapped, said what’s up, had a small conversation, we practiced, and it was instant chemistry. Later on I met his mom and his family, and we’ve been like brothers ever since. Obviously he went to Kansas, I went my way. It’s crazy, we would bump into each other in the summer time. I moved out to LA, a lot of UCLA workouts in the summer. And then finally to this right here [being teammates on the Celtics], it just comes full circle. It’s a little more special for me just because of our backgrounds, our childhoods and what we come from.”
On what Pierce was like in high school:
“Paul was more like a four. In high school you play four or five, you’re the biggest kid on your team or one of them. Paul’s from a rough neighborhood, from brothers and a loving mother and family, so he always had a sense of character and depth to him. When it came to basketball, he was always in the backyard working. I remember he was always talking about David Robinson. I couldn’t understand that one,” he joked, “but it wasn’t for me to understand. But you saw the drive. You saw what motivated him. You saw what pushed him. Being in LA, other players were considered better than him and that drove him from day one. We just have a lot of similarities, a lot of things pushing us, a lot of things driving us as young guys. We just so happen to be best friends and have a lot in common.”
On whether, when he was in high school, Garnett would have believed somebody who told him all that he and Pierce would accomplish, and that they’d come together in Boston:
“I would totally believe them. I would totally believe them. I’d be like, ‘You’re crazy as hell, but I believe you.’ This is just good, that we can sit back and joke about holes in our shoes and playing with itty-bitty shorts and all this other stuff. And then, to be full circle right here, it’s great. So congratulations, Truth.”