When Paul Pierce unexpectedly left the Nets in free agency to join the Washington Wizards, questions were immediately raised about Kevin Garnett, and whether or not he’d be interested in playing without Pierce in Brooklyn for the final year of his contract.
While we have yet to hear anything from Garnett himself on the matter, the reports have been trickling in for the past couple of months to the point where we now expect him to return to the Nets next season.
Brooklyn’s new head coach, Lionel Hollins, hasn’t heard from Garnett either. But he similarly seems to be counting on having the intense big man available by the time the new season begins.
B/R: Staying in the frontcourt, what’s the latest with Kevin Garnett? Has he talked to you yet about returning?
LH: No, I haven’t talked about that with him, but all reports that I have [from team management] is that he’s coming back. It’s his right to make that decision or change his mind if he has decided to come back or not come back. I’m not worried about that. That’s out of my control. That’s a decision that KG and his family have to make, and I’ll leave it with him.
The communication between players and head coaches in the NBA has always been fascinatingly odd; it would seem to make perfect sense for Hollins to reach out to his players the moment he was hired (which he did), and it would seem just as reasonable for his players to get in touch with him shortly thereafter.
But regardless of when Hollins and Garnett finally do connect, he’s hearing the same things we are — which continues to send the message that Garnett will return for one more year with the Nets.