Kevin Garnett said Wednesday night that his 14th All-Star Game appearance on Sunday in Houston will also be his last, though the Celtics forward stopped short of saying he was retiring at the end of the season.
Garnett, realizing he had just set off an alarm, then turned cryptic. He has two years remaining on his contract.
“This is definitely my last All-Star Game,” he said. “Ya’ll don’t know what I know. I’m more than grateful, and I’m not going to act like I have more All-Star Games in me. I’ll enjoy this one with friends and family. That’s what I meant.”
Garnett added he simply plans to enjoy himself this weekend.
“I’ll have no feelings whatsoever,” he said when asked about Sunday. “I always enjoyed each All-Star Game. I’m not a guy who is going to show too much emotion at that time. The All-Star Game for me is more for friends and family. You always have that wild-assed uncle who shows his ass, you always have that friend you always have to pull to the side and have that little conversation (with). It’s a fun time.”
Garnett admitted to feeling the wear and tear on the inside this season.
“The last four or five days have been exhausting,” he said. “Mentally more than physical. The three overtimes against Denver was emotionally draining, the travel, having to come in here and prepare after losing to Charlotte, so yeah, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind.”
Point to his return
Danny Ainge was only half-joking yesterday when he said Rajon Rondo, who had surgery to repair a partially torn ACL in his right knee yesterday, will be running in track meets by July.
Rondo chose Dr. James Andrews for the procedure in part because of the world-renown surgeon’s success with Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings running back who had surgery on Jan. 13, 2012, and played in the Vikings season opener last September on his way to being named the NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year.
Little wonder Rondo wants to be that guy. Ainge said he expects Rondo to be “ready to roll” by the start of training camp.
“He wants to have a better recovery than Adrian Peterson,” said Ainge. “You know how competitive he is. (Andrews’) success with Adrian Peterson definitely drew Rondo’s interest. That’s something that Rajon said to me.”
Celts coach Doc Rivers doesn’t mind Rondo shooting for such a high target.
“I want him to rush it,” Rivers said about Rondo. “I want him to be exactly like Adrian Peterson. That doesn’t mean you’re going to make it back, but it’s a good goal to have. Adrian Peterson has probably messed everyone’s minds up. First of all, it’s a different game. You’re running on a hardwood floor. Every step you make is a cut in basketball. You have to be very careful in that. In basketball, guys come back, but it feels a little longer to feel comfortable.”
The promising news about Rondo’s surgery, according to Ainge, is that the partial tear was “clean,” without any other damage in the knee. Rondo was able to undergo the procedure quickly because of the lack of swelling in the knee, a stark difference from what Leandro Barbosa faces. Barbosa, who tore the ACL in his right knee during Monday’s loss to the Bobcats, also strained his MCL, which has caused swelling. As a result, Barbosa won’t be able to have surgery for about four weeks.
Resisting quick deals
Ainge is holding to his goal of not adding a free agent, or at the extreme outside chance a player via trade, until the end of All-Star break.
Rivers went one up on that last night, saying the wait could last longer. But Rivers is not committed to the need for another guard, though the Celtics currently only have three.
“One thing I told Danny at the end of the day was, let’s not look at a position anymore,” said Rivers. “It’s something we were doing, but with all of the injuries let’s just get him and figure out how to use him, even if it’s another guy at (small forward), which we don’t need. We’ll move it around and play three 3′s if we have to. Whatever we have, we have. We just have to go for the best player.
“In (the last) 48 hours we covered every human who can dribble and shoot,” Rivers said. “We’re just going to take our time. That’s what we came to at the end of today. We don’t want to rush into anything, and we don’t have a lot of flexibility cap-wise.” ——