Celtics

What does the future hold for Garnett?

191544.jpg

What does the future hold for Garnett?

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON In the aftermath of the Boston Celtics' season-ending loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday, Kevin Garnett was nowhere to be found inside the locker room.

Having already boarded the team bus, Garnett's actions made it quite obvious that he was ready to move on.

The question remains, though: Where to?

Will he return to Boston for one final season, or will he call it a career?

When you look at the core pieces to the Green machine, Garnett's status is the only one with a high degree of uncertainty.

Coach Doc Rivers said he's "leaning heavily" towards coming back next season, with multiple reports on Thursday indicating the Celtics and Rivers were working towards a new multiyear contract. Ray Allen, who can opt out of his contract (worth 10 million next season), has indicated that he plans on returning to the C's as well.

Pierce signed a four-year, 61.3 million extension last summer that'll take him through the 2013-14 season while Rondo's contract runs through 2014-15.

That leaves the return of Garnett, the anchor of the Celtics' defense, very much in limbo.

During the season, Garnett would not address his future specifically. But he dropped a number of hints that would lead you to believe that retirement was something he was at least giving some thought.

"Obviously, we're singing the Boys II Men theme here, 'End of the Road,' " Garnett said recently. "But it's all good. I paid my dues. I put down the blood, sweat and enough tears and I'm happy where where I'm at in life. No complaints."

This most recent playoff series brought out the best and worst of Garnett.

In Game 3, Garnett's 28-point, 18-rebound night led to the C's lone victory in the series. He followed that up 48 hours later with a 1-for-10 shooting night, the worst shooting performance of his career.

That sequence speaks volumes about how Garnett's role with the team has changed.

For years, Garnett has been one of the NBA's top players because being good was never enough. The 6-foot-11 forward has worked tirelessly on his game, which is deeply rooted in playing tough defense.

But Garnett, who will turn 35 years old next week, also has the ability to stretch defenses with his perimeter game as well.

After having spent almost half of his life in the NBA, it's clear that Garnett has lost a step or two at both ends of the floor. And while he's still an effective player, those times of dominance that fans have come to expect, are fewer and farther between.

Rivers knows all too well that there will come a day when his days of coaching Garnett will end.

"I say it all the time, if you can coach one guy or work with one guy in your career, you should work or coach with Kevin Garnett at one point," Rivers said. "He's a pro's pro. He understands when he doesn't play well. And when he plays well, he comes back the next day to play better. That's just the way he is."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

cp-cavs-isaiah-thomas-010318.jpg

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Just when all the video tribute controversy between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce seemed to be dying down, Jalen Rose heated it right back up.

Live on ESPN's "NBA Countdown," Rose called Pierce "petty" for his comments on the Celtics potentially holding a video tribute for Isaiah on Feb. 11 when Pierce gets his jersey retired.

Jalen Rose called Paul Pierce petty right to his face... 😳

A post shared by DIME on UPROXX (@dimemagazine) on

Thomas tweeted on Tuesday that he (again) declined the Celtics' offer to hold the tribute for him so it wouldn't interfere with Pierce's night. But if you look at the likes on the Instagram video above, posted by dimemagazine, you'll see Thomas appears to agree with Rose on the matter.

It doesn't look like the video tribute drama is going to end until the Feb. 11 matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers is over with.

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

clippers_rockets.jpg

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Three Houston Rockets players entered the Los Angeles Clippers’ training room before being stopped by security but not before a profanity-laced exchange that’s sure to result in fines and possibly some suspensions.

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo threw a punch – and barely missed – hitting Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica which led to both players being ejected and for Afflalo will likely result in a suspension of some kind.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons got into it with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, resulting in both players being tossed and apparently leading to Simmons signaling to Lowry that they could continue having their “discussion” in the hallway.

That hallway encounter never happened (Lowry said he was there, Simmons said he didn’t see Lowry so you believe who you want to), but the fact that it was even a possibility speaks to this being one of the more bizarre weeks in recent memory when it comes to potential fighting in the league. 

And remember … it’s only freakin’ Wednesday!

I asked Boston’s Al Horford about this.

“It’s very, very bizarre,” said Horford, now in his 11th NBA season. “I don’t think I remember any period of time, (with) all this chippiness going on. You want to compete, you want to play hard; that’s fine. But all the extra stuff, I think needs to stop. At the end of the day you need to focus on basketball. We’re here to play.”

Horford added, “I’m sure the NBA will address those things and fix them.”

No one was shocked that things got a little testy in the Houston-Los Angeles Clippers game which was played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was the first time Chris Paul, now with the Rockets, returned to Los Angeles to face his former team. 

The Clippers won 113-102, a game filled with trash talk from both sides. But apparently the chatter soon turned to chippy play with hard fouls delivered and taken in the latter stages of play with a total of five technical fouls called, two of which were on Blake Griffin which is an automatic ejection. 

Talking trash gone bad was a factor in the Simmons-Lowry bruhaha with the Sixers emerging with the victory. 

And on Tuesday, Afflalo and Bjelica had already been assessed a technical for an earlier run-in. Soon after, there was a collision between the two which pissed off Afflalo who swung with great force at Bjelica’s face. 

“We’re professionals,” Horford said. “We can’t get caught up in that stuff.”

Horford plays around the basket and is no stranger to banging around with the big, bad angry bodies. 

But as much as there will be times when he’ll want to snap, Horford has consistently resisted the urge. 

“It’s hard; it’s hard,” he said. “But we have to remember what we play the game for; I play to win. I’m playing for my teammates and sometimes you need to take a step back before you do something you regret. That’s the way I look at it.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE