Well, the WEEI website has survived the onslaught of distraught Celtics fans who must've crashed it upon hearing the news about Kevin Garnett this morning. Here's a link to the entire transcript of Doc Rivers' interview with the station Thursday morning. Notice that Doc is adamant that he "thinks" Garnett is out for the entire postseason, but carefully couches his comments by saying, "I don't know that for a fact yet." Doc also sprinkles in other gems like the following:
"I mean, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t keep getting treatment and see where he can go. But I mean, there’s no way he can play."
Rivers said pretty much the same stuff after practice Thursday, according to a transcript provided by the Celtics' PR department.
"He’s out. I think he’s out," Rivers said. "It’s not official if he’s out for the entire playoffs, but it's official as far as I’m concerned. ... I think for the playoffs. Listen, he looked better last week than he did today. Obviously, out of left field, honestly, but it is what it is. He’s obviously done everything he could do to get back on the floor to the point where I was convinced he was going to be back on the floor. I was convinced there wasn’t going to be a minute limitation, but there’s no way, just no way.
“After two steps, it didn’t take long," Rivers said. "... I mean, he ran more than that but, it was just ridiculous to watch. I was surprised because I saw him run last week and he looked great. That just told you that this wasn’t heading the right direction. They’re still going to do treatment and they’re going to treat him and try to get him back as soon as they can get him back. Just common sense -- if it hasn’t healed yet, it’s not going to heal.”
Asked what the tipping point for him was, Rivers said, "Just couldn’t run. And you saw his face and you saw him trying to mask like there was no pain, which he couldn’t do that. Honestly, when we shut him down he was frustrated and upset about it but he stopped immediately. That told you all you need to know.”
Rivers also said Garnett will need surgery to remove a bone spur from his right knee that is unrelated to the tendon injury that is keeping him out of the playoffs. The Celtics have asked Garnett to sit on the bench for support during the first-round series against Chicago that begins Saturday in Boston. Garnett typically has not sat with his teammates when injured.
Now, I have to provide this caveat before I say any more: After the season, I will be attending rehab specially designed for those susceptible to conspiracy theories. But hear me out: Is there any chance Rivers is pulling our legs? (No pun intended.)
Garnett's injury has been odd from the beginning, and his aborted, four-game comeback was strange, too. After looking good in running drills only a week ago, it's weird again that the injury took such a dramatic turn for the worse two days before the playoffs. All I'm saying is this: Pay attention to how careful Rivers was with his words. And remember that the conference finals -- if the Celtics can somehow manage to make it there without Garnett -- don't start for another month.
Something tells me we haven't heard the end of this story yet.