Garnett makes reference to the end of his career on the near horizon

2 Comments

Kevin Garnett is doing the media rounds this week, talking about everything from how he almost joined the Lakers, to his future in basketball. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Garnett gave the token lines about how the union is “really united” this time, said he wanted to retire with the Celtics, and then gave some insight into the fact that the end of his career is closer than you might think.

When asked if he would play past next season, Garnett said with a giggle: “My body and I gotta actually have a one-on-one to see future-wise where I’m at and what I want to do. So, I will make that decision.’’

via Garnett says players united – The Boston Globe.

This is very much in the theme of Garnett’s statements historically. Surprisingly, he’s not the type to talk about playing till he’s 40, or want to hold on as long as possible. For as psychotic as he is on the floor, he’s surprisingly level-headed off the court. When it’s time to go, he’ll likely head off. He’s on his championship ring, won his MVPs, made his money. His investment in this CBA is primarily to protect players like they did for him in ’99. There’s a sense of obligation there, whether you think it’s misplaced or not.

Statements like this, as joking as it may have been, also gives you an idea of why the Celtics have already started looking to the future by obtaining the Clippers’ pick, getting Jeff Green (hold your comments, please), and clearing space for 2012. The Big 3 Era’s not over. But you can sense the closing scene opening up.

Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. guesses Vince Carter’s first NBA season was in 1987 (video)

Ezra O. Shaw /Allsport
Leave a comment

Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. insisted he meant no disrespect to Luka Doncic after liking an Instagram comment that called the Mavericks rookie overrated.

But this is darn sure disrespectful toward Vince Carter.

Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype:

Carter – who signed with the Hawks for next season – entered the NBA in 1998. He’s old, but he’s not that old.

Hawks rookie Trae Young: ‘I know there is a lot on my plate’

Elsa/Getty Images
2 Comments

The Grizzlies plan to bring No. 4 pick Jaren Jackson along slowly.

No. 5 pick Trae Young won’t have the same luxury.

After picking Young, the Hawks traded Dennis Schroder, their incumbent starting point guard. Though Atlanta also dealt for Jeremy Lin, Young knows where he stands.

Young, via Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“Obviously when they move the point guard they’ve had for a while, their starting point guard, it definitely opened my eyes,” Young told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from New Jersey, where he was taking part in the Rookie Transition Program. “It shows how much they are committed to me. Bringing Jeremy in as well is a good fit for us. I know there is a lot on my plate. I’m looking forward to it.”

Unlike Memphis, the Hawks aren’t trying to win now. They can ride through Young’s highs and lows.

Though I’m quite high on Young, I also expect him to struggle next season. Most rookies do, especially point guards. And the small Young could face an especially tough adjustment to NBA size and athleticism.

But he seems to be embracing the challenge with the right attitude, giving himself the best chance of emerging on the other side ready to lead an NBA team.

76ers’ Ben Simmons: ‘We’ve got to get past Boston. Those are the guys at the top right now’

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
4 Comments

After winning the Eastern Conference the last eight years, LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers for the Lakers has created a power vacuum in the East.

The Celtics, Bucks, Wizards and Pistons have staked their claims as teams ready to fill the void. The Raptors announced themselves with their trade for Kawhi Leonard.

But 76ers forward Ben Simmons isn’t ready to put Philadelphia atop the Eastern Conference hierarchy.

Simmons, via James McKern of SportingNews:

“We’ve got to get past Boston, those are the guys at the top right now. Beating them, that’s our next goal,” Simmons said.

“Obviously getting further than the second round and winning the Eastern Conference Finals and then moving on to the Finals.

This is a surprisingly restrained approach by Simmons. Many of his peers are talking bigger.

But the 76ers belong behind the Celtics, who beat Philadelphia in the second round last year. The 76ers could pass Boston. They just must prove it. In the meantime, Simmons is paying the Celtics proper deference.

Don’t forget about Toronto, though. Though Boston and Philadelphia were poised to own this next era in the East, Leonard reinvigorates the Raptors. If he’s healthy, they belong at the top with the Celtics.

Report: Jon Leuer expected to return to Pistons by start of season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 Comment

Pistons big Jon Leuer underwent meniscus surgery, leaving plenty of doubt about his availability for next season.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

After losing Anthony Tolliver in free agency (to the Timberwolves), Detroit needs Leuer as a stretch big off the bench. Unless Henry Ellenson is ready for rotation minutes, which…

If Leuer isn’t quite ready for the start of the season, Stanley Johnson could play small-ball four, but that weakens wing depth.

The Pistons’ best hope is Leuer getting healthy on schedule.