Many of those invitations came from fellow members of the N.B.A. coaching fraternity, and Thibodeau was glad to accept their offers. In fact, not long after his five-season run as coach of the Chicago Bulls came to an unceremonious end when he was fired in May 2015, Thibodeau set about deciding how he wanted to spend his time away from coaching. He knew he needed to recharge and reflect, he said. He figured the best way to do that would actually be to cram as much basketball into his life as humanly possible. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to treat it like a college professor taking a sabbatical,” he said.
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For a brief moment in between his tenure with the Boston Celtics and the trade that sent him to the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Garnett apparently considered retiring from the NBA, enrolling at college, living in a dorm and having Showtime document the whole thing. On a podcast with Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine (around the 30-minute mark), The Vertical’s Chris Mannix told the story. “When it ended in Boston, he thought he was done,” Mannix said. “Like, he thought it was going to end there. Paul [Pierce] had to talk him into the trade to Brooklyn. He was on a plane to China with the head of Showtime Sports, and he went up to this guy — Stephen Espinoza is this guy’s name, he went up to Stephen and said, ‘I’ve got an idea for a show. How about I go to college?’ You know, K.G. comes out of high school, never went to college. He wanted to go to college, live in the dorm and let Showtime shoot it.” “He said he wanted to go to class,” Mannix added. “He said he wanted to do the whole thing. He said he wanted the whole nine.”
Storyline: Kevin Garnett Retirement