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Paul Pierce says he talked Kevin Garnett into joining Nets rather than retiring in 2013

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce


Kevin Garnett said in 2012 he’d retire as a Celtic.

A year later, he was playing for the Nets.

Paul Pierce has taken credit for convincing Garnett to waive his no-trade clause and join him in Brooklyn. But Pierce apparently wasn’t just trying to get Garnett to leave Boston. Pierce convinced Garnett – who retired a couple weeks ago – to keep playing at all.

Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports:

It should have ended in 2013, in Boston, in the sports-starved city Garnett fed for six seasons. “People don’t know how close KG was [to retiring],” Paul Pierce told The Vertical recently. “He was done.” It was Pierce, knowing the Celtics stars were about to be sold off, desperate to build a title-ready contender elsewhere, who persuaded Garnett to come to Brooklyn, to squeeze more out of his breaking-down body.

Garnett spent a season and a half with the Nets then a season and a half with the Timberwolves. Neither team went anywhere, and Garnett achieved no legacy-altering milestones (unless you consider defensive rebounds legacy-altering). Aside from one magical night in his return to Minnesota, he didn’t get much in those final few years beyond more wear and tear on his body. I wonder whether he regrets continuing his career – though his competitiveness certainly explains why he did.

There’s no questions the Celtics are happy Garnett kept playing, though. They got great draft picks out of it.