When he is on the court, Kevin Garnett is anything but shy. He is as passionate as it gets with unparalleled intensity that drives him and fuels the Boston Celtics aggressive and tough approach. Basketball is his life. When he can separate himself from the game and from winning (or losing), Garnett is laid back, mellow and guarded. Get him talking about basketball though and the unfiltered passion returns immediately.
This is the same guy that once referred to the deciding game of a playoff series as, “It’s Game 7, man. That’s it. It’s for all the marbles. Sitting in the house, I’m loadin’ up the pump. I’m loadin’ up the Uzi. I got a couple M-16s, a couple 9s. I got a couple joints with some silencers on them. I’m just loading clips, a couple grenades. I got a missile launcher with a couple of missiles. I’m ready for war.” Whoa. So what happens when he loses Game 7 on the the biggest stage?
Kevin Garnett joined Dennis and Callahan on WEEI in Boston to discuss going to a dark place after losing Game 7 of the NBA Finals, what he would think of himself if played for the other team, whether he feels old in the league after 15 seasons, when he will decide to retire, being shy, what he, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen figured out that the Miami Heat will have to learn and the two-year window for the Celtics.
On the off-season after losing Game 7 of the NBA Finals:
“Very dark, to be honest, dark. ‘Just leave me alone, let me be my myself. I don’t want to deal with anything right now. Let me just be in a dark place.’ Just the way I replay the game over and over in my mind, trying to get a resolution to some type of place to where you can settle with it. I never found it, but that’s what it is. I say it’s fuel to the fire. [Expletive? (Bleeped completely out] .“
On if he would like him if he were on the other team?
“I’d think I was an asshole, because I’m misunderstood. I’m serious. I’m not out on the court making friends. I’m not out there patting guys on the back. I’m trying to bust yo’ ass, period, point blank. When I hit the floor, I’m a certain kind of way, and I never have any excuses for that.”
On if he feels old in the league:
“I feel older in the fact that I’ve played for multiple years. But when it comes to competing, being in shape, passion — none of those things are lacking, not with me. When I get out on the floor, man, I’m going to compete. I wear my heart on my sleeve with anything that I do, anyway. Basketball is one of the things I enjoy in this world, so it’s like I’m having a tryout here. When I work out, I work out to better myself, to better my craft. Basketball is pure enjoyment for me.”
On when how he will know when it’s time to retire:
“I think it will be physical. When I retire, it will probably be because I’m hurting on a regular basis. I’m a passionate guy. Anyone who knows me or hangs out with me, they know that if I’m playing a video game or telling a story or something, I’m passionate about it.”
On if he is shy:
“I wouldn’t say shy, I’m just private. I think to get to know anybody is a moment. I look at life like, guys get to see me perform, play ball, a lot of things that we do are on blast anyways. So, the little private life that I do have I like to keep it private. I don’t have a Twitter. I don’t have a Facebook. It’s not that I’m not social. I’m social, but I like to be social with the people I know. I just feel like everybody out here is not for you. If you let everybody in, you let those people in with that. I just prefer to have my circle tight and have my family and friends close to me. That’s how I like to interact and be around people. Shaq has the personality. His personality is so big that you can’t really withhold that. Ray (Allen) is a good golfer. I guess he likes people to see his swing or whatever. I’m just to the back. If I go out and go somewhere, I like to sit down and chill. I’m not a rah-rah guy. I’m rah-rah when I’m on the court. I’m pretty laid back.”
On if he is going to cuss around the house as his daughter grows up:
“Cuss words are a part of life, let’s say that. You know what, I always said if a kid has never heard of cuss words, they don’t know what I’m saying. I don’t promote cussing, but it helps. I look at it like it’s straight to the point. It’s nothing that I’m proud of. If I could stop, I would. But [expletive (completely bleeped out]. This is me. If you don’t like it, then you don’t have to like it. This is who I am, though.”
On what Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh need to learn that he, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce figured out:
“I don’t know. We haven’t seen them play so we don’t know what their style is. We don’t know what they look like. When they go through something we don’t know how they’re going to react. When they lose or when someone gets hurt or when someone goes down, or when someone didn’t get their shots their night, there’s a ton of stuff that you can point at. But the true essence in a team is when, can you bring something else to the table vs. what you’re known for. Can you impact the game a different way? Are you actually enjoying the experience? Sometimes you get caught up in the bigger picture that you need to get some small detail that makes your team in the first place. You know, I’ve known Paul since I was 15 and I’ve known Ray since I was 14 and we’ve known each other and I felt like for the most part we had all been established in what we had been doing. And the time when we met up it was perfect, I felt like we were more established players. Everybody coming to Boston at the time we were coming was focused on one thing. It wasn’t about all the stars. It wasn’t about placement over here, first team, second team. We just came to Boston to win.”
And on if he views the team as having a two-year window:
“I look at this as just that — two years and who knows after that. Hopefully there won’t be a lockout next year and we can better our game and get the finances or economics part out of the way, and it can be two solidified years of basketball. But, yeah, that’s how I’m looking at it.”