BOSTON -- Celtics forward Kevin Garnett finished Tuesday's 97-92 overtime victory over the Houston Rockets with a team-high 13 rebounds, recording another personal milestone in the process, as he vaulted former teammate Shaquille O'Neal for 12th all time on the NBA's career rebounding list.
Garnett has hauled in 13,100 rebounds over the course of his 17-year NBA career -- one more than O'Neal. Garnett was initially informed of the milestone by Celtics media relations guru Jeff Twiss, but allowed himself a smile and a short chuckle when the topic was brought up by reporters.
"I haven't checked my phone. I looked and my light is blinking very rapidly, so that means I've got a couple messages, probably from the big fella," Garnett said afterward. "History is history. I'm very fortunate to be in a position to be a part of NBA history. It's always been a big deal for me to leave a legacy or leave some footprints, if you will, or some type of mark on the game, and to have played [alongside] one of the best, if not the greatest, big men to ever play the game -- it's more than a pleasure to be in the same category, if not on the same list. I'm more than honored, to all the coaches and players I've played with, who have put me in a position to create some of those footprints and some of those marks, so thank you."
Garnett acknowledged that it takes a certain level of passion and a certain work ethic to become a great rebounder, but then joked that it doesn't necessarily mean it's a joy to grab so many missed shots.
"I like nothing about it," Garnett said of rebounding, holding back a laugh. "I like nothing about it. It's something that I have to do. It's something that I'm decent at, and it's something that I know how to do. That's what it is."
"I think when you're old, you have a milestone every night," C's head coach Doc Rivers joked when informed of Garnett's accomplishment. "I'm starting to realize that, because I just gave Kevin two basketballs with paint on it, so now we have to give him another one. You have to be healthy, you have to be good for a long time, when you start -- him and Paul [Pierce] and Ray [Allen] -- passing up guys, like they're passing up guys."