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Lionel Hollins: ‘All reports that I have’ say that Kevin Garnett will be returning to Nets

Aug 9, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

Lionel Hollins Lionel Hollins

When Paul Pierce unexpectedly left the Nets in free agency to join the Washington Wizards, questions were immediately raised about Kevin Garnett, and whether or not he’d be interested in playing without Pierce in Brooklyn for the final year of his contract.

While we have yet to hear anything from Garnett himself on the matter, the reports have been trickling in for the past couple of months to the point where we now expect him to return to the Nets next season.

Brooklyn’s new head coach, Lionel Hollins, hasn’t heard from Garnett either. But he similarly seems to be counting on having the intense big man available by the time the new season begins.

From Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report:

B/R: Staying in the frontcourt, what’s the latest with Kevin Garnett? Has he talked to you yet about returning?

LH: No, I haven’t talked about that with him, but all reports that I have [from team management] is that he’s coming back. It’s his right to make that decision or change his mind if he has decided to come back or not come back. I’m not worried about that. That’s out of my control. That’s a decision that KG and his family have to make, and I’ll leave it with him.

The communication between players and head coaches in the NBA has always been fascinatingly odd; it would seem to make perfect sense for Hollins to reach out to his players the moment he was hired (which he did), and it would seem just as reasonable for his players to get in touch with him shortly thereafter.

But regardless of when Hollins and Garnett finally do connect, he’s hearing the same things we are — which continues to send the message that Garnett will return for one more year with the Nets.

  1. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 9, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    They recently had breakfast together. Lionel asked KG, “So which way you leaning, big guy? Retirement or coming back this year?”

    KG threw his arms in the air, “ANYTHING IS POSSIIIIIBBBBLLLLEEEEEEEEE!!!” Even Garnett’s waffling is intense.

  2. elcaminobilly - Aug 9, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I’m not sure why PBT keeps going on about Garnett playing without Pierce. The majority of his career was spent without Pierce, from 1995 to 2007.

    • redbaronx - Aug 9, 2014 at 6:00 PM

      @elcaminobilly – It’s not just PBT, and this isn’t about Garnett’s career playing without Pierce. Garnett was ready to retire before he joined the Nets and was talking about his last year in Boston. The only reason he returned to play it seemed was going to play for the Nets for a possible championship, not that I ever thought they were going to win one, but that’s what a lot of people thought including Garnett and Pierce from the way they talked at the beginning of last season.

      It’s become obvious to all and maybe even Garnett that his skills are rapidly diminishing and his ability to impact the game is getting to the point where KG might not WANT to play. He’s a very competitive guy, and frankly I don’t think he cares that much about the money. If he feels he’s done, he’ll retire. Same for Ray Allen.

      • elcaminobilly - Aug 9, 2014 at 8:29 PM

        Good point. I had forgotten he was talking of retiring beforehand. And there’s no denying that he isn’t the superstar he once was. I expect this season to be his last.

  3. spursareold - Aug 9, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Kevin Garnett isn’t leaving $10M on the table.

    The End.

    • tontoepstein - Aug 10, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      $10M? Try 12M. He’s going nowhere.

  4. John X - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    He thinks the Nets have as good a shot in the East as anyone so he is coming back as he should.

  5. tontoepstein - Aug 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Of course he’ll play, that’s way too much money to just walk away from. But every person within that organization is praying he’ll retire.

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