WALTHAM, Mass. -- Asked about this potentially being the last rodeo for Boston's Big Three, Kevin Garnett bristled at the query and snapped, "Next question."
But as a near seven-minute interview with reporters turned introspective on Thursday and Garnett examined his impact on the Celtics organization and discussed the health ailments endured by teammates Jeff Green and Marquis Daniels, Garnett softened a bit to the tone of the questioning. Later, asked about cherishing this season more than in year's past, he looped back to the original question about his future.
"Not to cut your question off... but I’ve been getting that question throughout the whole year," said an apologetic Garnett, who becomes a free agent at the end of the season. "I’m going to add on to it -- I don’t like anticipating the future, because things are not set in stone. You don’t know. I’m not a person to go back on my word, so I don’t know. No disrespect to your question, but I’ve been getting it a lot. And I’m not going to condone it, I’m not even going to give it any air. Because whatever this year presents itself to be, it’ll be just that. And then next year everybody will come back and make a decision. I’m cherishing it a lot more not knowing what the future is. I’m embracing the younger guys a little more, younger guys that want to work. Younger guys who want to embrace our culture and what we’re doing here."
The 35-year-old Garnett was speaking, if not a bit begrudgingly, after spending time working with first-year big men JaJuan Johnson and Greg Stiemsma, stressing the intricacies of the pick-and-roll defense and Boston's help system. Garnett, who has often been spotted leading the huddle during timeouts in the preseason, spoke to his desire to help those younger players.
"A lot of the stuff I’m showing some of the young guys is stuff I had trouble with when I was younger," he said. "Things I see during practice that can help a young guy, or help anybody. And vice versa. [Celtics media relations czar Jeff] Twiss will tell you this, you're never too old to learn something. I think I learn that everyday. I just try to be, if not a teacher, an influence to these young guys and everybody in here."
Garnett was asked if he had accomplished all of his goals in coming to Boston and you don't need to read between the lines to see he's eager for one more world championship.
"No, I've got one more goal," he said. "I've got one more goal. One more goal since I’ve been here that I’m trying to accomplish with everybody else. I think it falls in line with everybody else’s goal. I don’t think I got to tell you what that goal is."
A few more highlights from Garnett:
* On if his daughter waits to open presents with him on Christmas: "My kid’s a little girl, and if you know women, they’re not waiting. [You're] pretty much waiting on them. Yeah, we waiting on my kid; She’s never waiting on me."
* On Daniels' return to action after spine surgery: "When I see ‘Quis, I see an appreciation. I see a sense of appreciation. You go through something that’s life-threatening -- if not career ending -- then you get a second chance at what you love, I think it’s a big difference the second time around. At least I’m anticipating it to be. He’s come in here, he’s been energy and light since Day 1. He was already light and sunshine when he got here. But to be illuminating how he is now, it says a lot. Obviously, it's good to see him healthy, and see him getting a second-chance at what he loves."
* On if a shortened season helps Boston: "Advantage, disadvantage -- experience is always a good thing. Playing with Father Time, or us playing against him. Believe it or not, Father Time looks like Santa Claus, if you don't know what he looks like. So, yeah, it’s ying and yang to everything, man. You can say experience is a plus, then you say youthfulness is a [positive]."