Spurs Interested In Kevin Garnett
By Buck Harvey
The Spurs will consider everything and everyone this summer when free agency begins. But one option tossed out this weekend by one in the Spurs organization is not just another name.
Don’t know him?
He’s better known in San Antonio as Tim Duncan’s evil twin.
There was a time when it looked like Duncan and Garnett might face off against each other for the 2012 title. Duncan came within two wins of the Finals, Garnett one.
Now they are unrestricted free agents, and, as always, contrasts. While Duncan is expected to quietly re-sign this summer with the Spurs, no one is sure what happens next in Boston. Garnett added to the uncertainty Saturday night, leaving the locker room without talking to reporters.
Garnett could retire. He could sign another contract with the Celtics. Or the Celtics might not want to sign him so they can begin rebuilding.
“Hopefully management can do something to bring [Garnett] back, maybe add some pieces to this team that we need to get over the top,” Paul Pierce told reporters Saturday night. “If not, it’s been a tremendous run.”
The Celtics reacted after the loss Saturday night as if they knew the run is over. And if that is true, and if Garnett wants to continue playing, teams will line up to sign him. He can still defend, and he averaged more than 19 points, 10 rebounds and 36 minutes in the playoffs.
Some will have more money to offer than the Spurs will. Some might have more young talent to put around him. All the Spurs could give Garnett is the closest thing to what he had in Boston, a veteran core with a chance to contend.
But it’s the pairing of Garnett with Duncan that would make this free-agency signing a stunning story. While they would fit together on the court, they never have as people. They are similar in size, ability and birth (one month apart), yet have been opposites.
This spring told of that again: Sports Illustrated wrote Duncan “hates (Garnett) the way liberals hate Sean Hannity.”
Still, playing against someone isn’t the same as playing with him. A lot of scorers never liked Bruce Bowen defending them, for example, but they probably would have wanted him on their team.
So listen to what else Pierce told reporters Saturday about Garnett:
“He’s done everything for my career, just his locker room presence, his desire, his determination. Just his leadership. I said before, when Kevin first got here he really changed the culture of everything we did around here, you know, practice habits to the discipline. He made everybody accountable, from the ball boys to the chefs to the guy who flew the plane, everybody was accountable. It’s been tremendous to have him around, just the culture he brought, you know?”
Think Duncan could play with someone like that?
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