Earlier this week, Boston Celtics forward and NBA All-Star Game starter Kevin Garnett told the media that this Sunday would probably be his last All-Star Game. Soon after, many began speculation that this was Garnett subtly hinting at the idea that he will be retiring after this season. However, Garnett tried to put those rumors to rest on Friday in Houston for All-Star weekend.
Garnett said to the press that his comments from earlier in the week were merely referencing the good young talent in the league that will probably supplant him in the All-Star Game in the future, not about his future in the league.
While this should stifle most of the talk about whether or not Garnett is retiring at the end of the year, it doesn’t erase the question of whether or not Garnett should retire or not.
Garnett’s production is relatively the same as it has been in recent seasons with the Celtics as he’s averaging 7.7 rebounds and 15.1 points per game on 50.3 percent shooting. He’s also still the emotional leader for Boston.
But the game has also obviously become more of a challenge for the 36-year-old. Garnett is visibly slower than he has been in previous years and suffers more nagging injuries now. Is that enough for him to leave the game, though?
Jared Sullinger and what the Celtics do in either the trade market or in free agency may be the biggest factor in Garnett’s decision. Though Sullinger is out for the season this year, when he’s healthy he provides relief for Garnett and allows him more time to stay rested. If Sullinger is able to come back to form for next season or if Boston is able to acquire another solid front court player, that would make Garnett’s life a lot easier and would probably entice him to return next season.
As for now though, it seems like Garnett doesn’t want to talk about it and wants to focus on the season at hand. After all he’s done in the league, he probably deserves that courtesy. But that doesn’t mean we will stop wondering.