City Sports Report

Kevin Garnett on motivation and new Nets by Jason Schott

Kevin Garnett spoke at Nets Media Day on a variety of topics, such as retirement, new Head Coach Lionel Hollins, the departure of Jason Kidd, the return of Brook Lopez, and his playing time.

On if he thought about retiring, Garnett said, “It’s always so hard especially when you come up short of your goal for the year. I must admit, these last few years I’ve thought about life, where basketball is as a priority. In the back of your mind, you think about it. The decision is a yes or no, it’s not like 50/50, middle ground or gray area. I’m the kind of person, you commit to something, you commit to it, it’s that simple.”

On former Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd’s departure, Garnett said, “The only thing I’m going to say about the Jason Kidd situation is that I enjoyed Jason while he was here, thought he had a great understanding of the communication. I don’t know what the hell was going on like everybody else. So, I don’t really have a comment. It was unfortunate because I have seen the two (sides), you know, whether you want to or not, Jason’s part of this history, did a lot of good things for this organization. I hope it doesn’t get overshadowed with the current situation between the two. It was unfortunate, but I hope that he’s in a better place, hope he’s happy.  Obviously he made the decision for whatever he felt was best for himself and his family, and I wish him all the best.”

On his longtime teammate Paul Pierce leaving Brooklyn for the Washington Wizards, KG said, “Paul, actually, I was with him around that announcement. It was unfortunate, but still fortunate that Paul is in a great situation for him and his family, wish him nothing but the best, you know, it’s bittersweet.”

On the Nets, KG said, “The biggest strengths of us going into this season is the fact that we have pretty much the core here, Deron, Brook and Joe, obviously they’ve added some pieces. But if we’re going to win anything, it’s going to be those three guys and everyone else is going to fill in and carry out their goals.”

On his motivation for coming back, such as winning another title, Garnett said “that’s what we’re playing for, right? No one’s suiting up to come in second. I don’t think guys are coming in here to do anything less than. Part of that is probably something else, but the mindset has to be championship or nothing.”

On his impressions of new Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins, “He’s old school, right off the top, old school, my kind of guy, not that Jason (Kidd) wasn’t. The first thing I noticed is he has a presence and he spoke very candidly about his views and how he saw this team and how he saw us being in the future. He had a plan. Assistant coaches are great guys, got to meet everybody, look forward to working with everybody.”

Garnett said of how much he is looking forward to playing with Brook Lopez again, “I’m looking forward to being back here with everybody, man. I’m glad Brook’s healthy, glad he’s back doing what he loves. Health is a weird thing. Obviously, when you get older, you have to take care of your body and all this stuff, but when you’re younger, man, you want to be able to run and all these things you want to do, and I’m just glad that he’s able to be young again and hope he can stay healthy for…at least parts of the year that we need him. If we’re going to be anything, it’s because of Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, and Joe Johnson.”

On if this is his last year in the NBA, Garnett said, “I don’t like to use that, I like to come in each year and assess it. I have always said that at the age whenever I am not feeling basketball again, which is absurd, or when I don’t have the motivation to come in here, it’s time to move on, but that’s not the case, I’m very much motivated, looking to have a better year than last year and enjoy this year.”

On if he is motivated to show he can still play at a high level after a tough 2013-14 season, Garnett said, “I don’t need to show people anything, that’s first off. Secondly, for myself, last year, I think everybody on the team sacrificed, it takes a game, give a little bit for the betterment of the club, and I did just that. From what I have heard of this system, it might fit me a little better because it’s a little parallel to what we did in Boston.

“Granted, my situation with Jason (Kidd) and the system last year is what it was, and I had to make adjustments to it when I had to. I don’t really see myself as primary and that’s just reality. But, I still can give. I still have something to give to this game and to this team and my mindset is always to be better than I was last year, or to be better than I was yesterday and I’m not going to change that.”

On if he has reflected on last season and how he was not the player he was in Boston, Garnett said, “You have to understand that chemistry is one thing that I think is underrated in this game. I’m not a primary guy here, I understood that coming here. I wasn’t trying to be who I was in Boston. Totally different situation, totally different option, totally different circumstance. I’m just looking to have a better year, to enjoy the year. Last year, I was dealing with a bunch of stuff I never had to encounter. So, this year I’m just looking forward to enjoying the year, make it a memorable one, and be better.”

Last season, there was a lot of contention between Garnett and Kidd over a minutes limit imposed by Kidd. It seemed to me that the minutes limit was rigid, in the sense that he was out there for a set amount of minutes and not the tenor of the game or how he was playing. On if he would like more input into how many minutes he is played this season, Garnett said in a deadpan matter, “Whatever the Coach tells me to do, that’s what I plan on doing.”

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