There comes a time in all of our lives when we meet a crossroad; we then have the choice of continuing on the path we have been on, or choosing another path that takes us to life’s next adventure. At 35-years-old and playing in season number 17 in the Association; it seems that Boston Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett has reached that divide in the highway and according to a report on Friday from “CSSNE.com” the big man is unsure of what direction he will take at the end of the current campaign.
Garnett was a guest Friday on the “Mut And Merloni Show” on Boston sports-talk radio station WEEI and told the hosts that he has yet to decide whether he will lace them back up again next season or start to carry on with his life after basketball. He also told the pair that he was leaning towards re-signing with Boston if he does return to the hardwood, however he said that he was keeping all options available. The veteran will be looking at a steep decline in his paycheck with whatever club he signs with if he chooses to return.
The big man who was a key part of the club that won the franchise’s first NBA Title since 1986 back in 2008 then touched on trade rumors that had circulated about him before the March 15, NBA trade deadline; as well as what he perceives as the Association taking a turn for the worse. “The Big Ticket” said “I never wanted to be pieced around, or treated like a pawn, or a piece on the board. Loyalty in this game has been depleted on both sides. The business of this game is terrible for players. It’s all over the place. I have to choose and make a decision to whether to be part of the future of that. I wish players would take more of a stand in our league and understand that it’s a player’s league.”
Garnett is used to breathing that rarefied air that only the game’s true greats ever come in contact with. Although this has been his best campaign in the last three seasons; as he has played in 47 out of Boston’s 50 games and averaged 15.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest, he is no longer the dominant force he was with the T-Wolves or when he first got to the Celtics. The franchise is no longer the threat that it was through the 2010 NBA Finals and Team President Danny Ainge told reporters early on after the club’s sluggish start that he would consider trading any member of the “Big Three” if the right deal came along.
The Celtics veteran is a very proud man and it must have been a slap in the face for him to go from untouchable status to possible trade bait this season. It had to be a big wakeup call for KG, another reminder that he is far closer to the end of his current path than he is to the beginning. Something like that can shake a man to his very foundation and make him take stock of his current situation and whether he wants to continue with it.
The decision Garnett has to make over the next few months is on what terms does he want to make his exit from the Association? He could leave at the end of the current campaign with more left in the tank, however accomplishing everything he could have wanted during his NBA career. Or he could decide that he still love hoops so much that he is willing to no longer be among the Association leaders, but still play a very valuable role helping a team win an NBA Championship, doing essentially what Tim Duncan is doing this year with the San Antonio Spurs.
An athlete’s prime years are from the age of 29-years-old through 32, as a general rule; still a youngster in the real world. It has to be tough to come to grips with facing your own mortality at such a young age and to decide what the next chapter will bring. Garnett is at that crossroad right now as he decides what path to take next.