|Could this season be Kevin Garnett's last hurrah? (Getty Images)|
Is the show almost over for the Big Ticket?
Boston Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett has put together another excellent season in his 17th year in the league. And NBA.com reports that it could be Garnett's last in the NBA.
Where might he take his nasty next? Back to Boston? To another NBA team? Or home to stay, where he can glare at the kids who stray onto his lawn and talk trash once a week with the garbage men?Garnett, whose current contract ends following the season, has discussed the possibility of retirement before.
It is a decision -- actually, a sequence of them -- that hangs over the Hall of Fame-bound player, the Celtics and any other teams that might be interested in getting some KG for themselves. It's a situation about which Garnett isn't talking, of course, since he does so little of that these days once he steps off a court, his rapport with the media more cantankerous than ever.
But at least one league source who knows Garnett well thinks a proud, strong exit and, as they say in show biz, a chance to leave 'em wanting more might be his plan. "I think that's what we've been seeing in these playoffs," the friend of Garnett said. "The way he's been playing, it's like he wants to go out on his terms."
Back in Dec. 2010, he said that the 2010-2011 season could be his last if the upcoming lockout cancelled the 2011-2012 season. In Sept. 2011, he said simply that he wanted to retire as a member of the Celtics and was noncomittal about a basketball future past the 2011-2012 season.
“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," Garnett said at the time. "So I will make that decision.”
At 36, Garnett averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 blocks while shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and anchoring Boston's defense, which ranked No. 2 in the NBA. He was selected to his 14th All-Star Game and was named to the All-Defensive Second Team. He's continued to be productive throughout the playoffs, averaging 19.4 points and 10.5 rebounds so far during the postseason as the Celtics continue play in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Despite his age, the quality of his play this season has made a multi-year, 8-figure per year deal contract a legitimate possibility. With career NBA earnings of $291+ million, of course, this decision really isn't about the money. It all comes down to that one-on-one conversation with his body.