Storyline: Kevin Garnett Retirement

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Three all-time greats retired last year: Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. The Spurs already retired Duncan’s number. The Lakers will put both of Kobe’s numbers into the rafters next month. When will the Timberwolves follow suit with Garnett? Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, via Derek Wetmore of 1500ESPN: “For our part, we have invited KG to do that numerous times,” Taylor said in a radio interview with 1500ESPN. “So I think it’s just waiting for KG to feel comfortable doing that. For whatever reason, he’s been a little bit silent on that issue. But I’m sure it’ll happen. We’re not pushing but we sure have told him that the door is open and we look forward to that time.”

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.”

4 years ago via ESPN

“I would have absolutely been interested in bringing him here. You always find a place for a guy like that, whose voice in the locker room is so strong, so clear, so impactful. “He’s such a great teacher in practice. He should start a course in leadership. The NBA should designate who the best player is on each team and then they could bring Kevin in and he could teach them how to be the best player and the best leader. Better yet, they could bring him and Tim [Duncan] in and they could teach it together and show people how it can be done in two completely opposite ways.”

Would you be surprised to see him on television as an NBA analyst? Jimmy Jam: No, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on TV. I would enjoy seeing him on TV. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a chance to sit with him to watch a basketball game, but it’s hilarious. It’s unbelievable. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did that. Ownership, he expressed an interest in that. But it’s too bad with Flip passing away. It was a great plan that Flip had. The initial plan was to bring him back, give him the ropes of ownership. I think he still is interested in that. He has never expressed one definitive thing that he wants to do. That’s why I said there is no rush to me. I’m sure he’s made plans and there are things he wants to do.

Jeff Zillgitt: NBPA executive director Michele Roberts’ statement on Kevin Garnett: “Kevin Garnett will go down as one of the greatest competitors in the history of our sport. His hard work and dedication to the game night in and night out made him one of the most complete players in the NBA. KG brought an unparalleled intensity to the court, that led him to an MVP award, Defensive Player of the Year award, and later a championship in Boston. He has left an indelible mark on the game that has and will continue to inspire a generation to follow in his footsteps.”
4 years ago via ESPN

Rivers, who once declared Garnett his favorite player to coach, said he has spoken with Garnett about Minnesota’s decision to orchestrate a buyout for the 15-time All-Star, who announced his farewell Friday. “He doesn’t want to play,” Rivers said. “I’m sure he won’t play again. I think he realized, ‘Why am I doing this?’ “I would have absolutely been interested in bringing him here. You always find a place for a guy like that, whose voice in the locker room is so strong, so clear, so impactful.

Karl Anthony Towns: Thank you for everything my brother. You know how much I’m gonna miss playing with you and just simply having you around. Congrats on having one of the greatest careers the game has ever seen. We talked. I know what I must do. I’ll take it from here.

Chris Paul: The first 3 times I ever played against you we both were called for double techs…I’ll never forget what you said to me my rookie year during the jump ball to start the game in OKC(I was an awe, but you changed that real quick lol)…I’ve never hated playing against someone so much but also wanted them to be my teammate as much as you! Hate that we never got that chance but I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know as a competitor and I wish you and the the fam the best in what’s next in store in life!!! #ThankYou #BigTicket

LeBron James: I mean where do I start. First watching you play at the Solon Cage Classic in Ohio with Team Michigan when u were in HS, I believe I was 10 years old and I was like dang this dude nice!! Then a lil time passed and u were drafted straight out of HS to the pros so I felt like man whoever get him is a lucky team. And I surely wasn’t wrong! The KID nickname was fly, swaged out and made a 10 year old kid from Akron believe he could run with the big boys himself! Fast forward 8 years later that kid you inspired entered the draft fresh out of HS as well. Thank you!! Competing vs you in whatever uniform u were in at the time meant the world to me because of two distinctive trait u had. Passion and commitment to just compete every single possession. U showed me what it took and we never played on the same team(All-Star games is different). Thank you! Congratulations to The Big Ticket on a helluva career! HOF is your next stop to cap it all off, the cherry on top!! 1 Love

Dwight Howard: KG. My favorite player ever. Thank you for inspiring me. Im going to miss all the scraps and fights we had on the court. But I will never forget the talk we had after you head butted me lol. But thank you for the memories. My two favorite KG moments of All-Time are when you caught the one handed rebound and dunked it back in and pointed to the sky. The other moment is watching you win the title and say “Anything Is Possible”. My favorite commercial is when u was running around the world putting everybody on your back. There will never be another Big Ticket. Again KG THANK YOU. RIGHT 💯💯

Everything changed when Celtics general manager Danny Ainge struck gold by acquiring Kevin Garnett, a 10-time All-Star and former league Most Valuable Player, from the Minnesota Timberwolves on July 31, 2007. Everything changed because Garnett wasn’t just an elite basketball player; he was also an elite leader, a man who shifted the culture of an entire organization in one fell swoop. “Very few players can affect an organization like Kevin did here in Boston, both on and off the court,” Ainge said Friday, the day of Garnett’s retirement from the NBA. “He led our team by example every day with his drive, his passion, and his relentless commitment to winning.”

“While always putting team ahead of individual,” Ainge said, “Kevin earned his place among the greatest players in Celtic and NBA history.” Garnett’s arrival in Boston changed everything for the Celtics. The lasting impact of his work ethic, his leadership and his team-first mentality still oozes from the walls of the team’s facility. He was the driving force behind the restoration of Celtic Pride, and that pride has not waned since his exit from the team during the summer of 2013.
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April 2, 2020 | 9:36 pm EDT Update
For the time being, and likely for weeks or months to come, basketball is no longer the team’s primary public concern. “We’re trying to get ahead of the game as best we can,” Tellem said. “As part of that, it’s changing our whole public face. Usually we’re talking about upcoming games, the draft, free agency, all those things in our advertising and content online and obviously we’re now changing that content.”
The league has not made public any plans for the remainder of the season or playoffs, which were supposed to start April 18. Per a contract agreement with the league, players received paychecks April 1 despite the suspended season, but the NBA has yet to reach a long-term agreement, ESPN reported. “There will be a time, when we flatten the curve and we’re on the significant down side of the curve, that professional sports and all sports will play an important role in the healing of this country,” Tellem said.
April 2, 2020 | 8:15 pm EDT Update
P.J. Tucker will release a new limited-edition collection of clothing items next week to help promote awareness of coronavirus safety measures and raise funds for the Houston Food Bank and local businesses and vendors. Tucker announced that he and The Better Generation will make items available for a preorder through the weekend or while supplies last. The items will include long and short sleeve shirts, shorts and a baseball cap and feature COVID-19 awareness graphics.
“We all came together and said we wanted to do something positive,” Tucker said. “With so much negativity and so much stuff going on right now in the world, we wanted to do something to give back and help out. We’re doing three different shirts, three different shorts and a hat. There is a social distancing logo and messaging on the back with the logo for the store.”
April 2, 2020 | 5:36 pm EDT Update
Porter, who spent one season at Missouri, said he’s got a private gym that he can access whenever he wants. “I’ve literally been in the gym just as much as I was in Denver, which has been really good,” Porter said on Altitude’s digital show. “I feel like I haven’t really lost a lot. And it’s been good for my ankle, too, because you know my ankle was still kind of sore.”
In his downtime, he said he’s been preparing for the NBA 2K tournament that will air Friday night on ESPN. Porter, a No. 12 seed, drew No. 5 seed Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns. Booker’s a notorious gamer, but Porter liked his chances. “I’m just naturally good at 2K,” he said. “It’s kind of weird. 2K, if you’re good at actual basketball, like it translates.”
The Atlanta Hawks, through the Hawks Foundation and State Farm, are funding the preparation of 4,000 meals weekly to be delivered to the more than 1,000 frontline healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients at Emory Healthcare through a four-week pilot that is part of the newly-formed Atlanta Healthcare Heroes inaugural program. The meals are provided in partnership with two local Atlanta restaurants, which are now able to re-employ “hundreds” of workers who were recently laid off or furloughed due to the financial effects of the crisis, according to Hawks CEO Steve Koonin.
April 2, 2020 | 5:11 pm EDT Update
Although it launched last October, the Utah Jazz is using their Utah Jazz Podcast Network as an outlet for players to broaden their off-the-court reach and skills. “Our players have obviously been focused on keeping themselves healthy and making sure that their family and those close to them are healthy,” Bart Sharp, the Jazz’s senior vice president of marketing, said. “But they’ve also expressed a desire to try and provide some sense of normalcy and entertainment to our fan base during this time and wanted to find ways in which they can help people during this unique period.”
Already, some of the Jazz’s most well-known players are lending a hand to help produce content for the team. Utah rolled out its first player-specific podcast series, Ingles Insight, centered around Jazz shooting guard Joe Ingles, on March 21. The fifth-year player out of Adelaide, South Australia, is accompanied on Ingles Insight by his wife, Renae Ingles. The inaugural episode had more than 11,000 downloads in the first week, over 200 five-star reviews, and was the second-most popular basketball podcast in the United States on Apple Music, Sharp said.
Another new video podcast series hosted by Utah power forward Georges Niang, Drive and Dish, launched its first episode on Tuesday, March 31. Filmed out of Niang’s home and recorded through Zoom, Drive And Dish is described by Sharp as an “interview-style” podcast. The first episode saw Niang talk with teammate Jordan Clarkson about what is going on right now in a basketball-less world: what Clarkson is doing during the quarantine, his various tattoos, his distinct fashion taste, and other topics. After the debut of Drive And Dish, Sharp and the Jazz are preparing for another podcast series starring both Niang and Donovan Mitchell.
April 2, 2020 | 4:36 pm EDT Update
Doc Rivers wasn’t immediately impressed with Williams when the Clippers acquired him from the Houston Rockets. On Thursday’s episode of The Bob Ryan and Jeff Goodman Podcast, Rivers spoke about his first impressions of Williams. “When we traded for Lou, I was not having Lou,” Rivers said. “I saw a guy that kept getting traded. And I appreciated his offense, but not nearly, never thought it was this good… When he finally showed up three days before training camp, I was not having him. I was like, ‘We’re not gonna work’, you know?”
“I brought him up in the office and I told him my feelings,” Rivers said. “I said, ‘Lou, you’re one of these guys that wanna do whatever you wanna do, and you don’t want to buy-in. We asked everybody to come in. Everyone did except for you… I don’t know how this is gonna work.’ And he said, ‘I’ve been traded five years in a row. Why would I buy-in to you?’, and I didn’t have an answer.”
So with 19.5 seconds remaining in overtime and the Hawks trailing by seven to the New York Knicks, head coach Lloyd Pierce checked Carter into the game and the emotions began to hit him as the home crowd chanted. “I kind of made eye contact with coach (Pierce) and he’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah,'” Carter said on the latest episode of “Winging it with Vince Carter and Annie Finberg.” “Right then, it’s like a chill just hit me.”
April 2, 2020 | 4:30 pm EDT Update

Knicks front office staying put

For now, Leon Rose is proceeding as status quo with an inherited front office in following an unofficial NBA hiring/firing stoppage with the world stopped cold. According to sources, Rose is actively holding scouting meetings with his staff via conference call/video regarding the draft. “I don’t see any teams hiring or firing during this,” one NBA source said. “That’s the sense.”
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April 2, 2020 | 4:21 pm EDT Update
Karl has not coached in the NBA since leaving the Kings. Cousins has suffered a number of serious injuries. And so, on April Fools’ Day, Karl decided to joke about a potential reunion, saying that both were headed back to the Kings.