Media day festivities just wrapped up in here in Waltham and the highlight of the day was Kevin Garnett speaking for the first time since the team dropped Game 7 in Miami last June. Consideration of retirement as well as the departure of Ray Allen for Miami took place over an eventful summer and Garnett touched on both those topics.
On considering retirement: “I did give it some real thought. With free agency coming up, I didn’t want to think about another team or anything like that. My retirement, obviously, would have been a personal decision, based on family and whatever reasons I have. My No.1 reason for coming back, obviously, was Doc. Doc being here is huge. I enjoy playing for him. The guys, the city, the fans here are by far the best fans that I’ve ever been a part of.”
On Ray Allen’s Decision: “When a guy makes a decision based on him and his family, you can’t ever get upset at that. My personal feeling, I won’t put into it. The only thing I’ll say is I wish Ray the best and that’s where it’s at.”
Have they communicated? “I have not. I don’t have Ray’s number anymore so I’m not trying to communicate. I’m just being honest with everyone in here. It’s not wishing him less than or whatever…..it just is what it is.”
Why not communicate? “I choose not to. That’s a choice I personally made. You know, I am very close to Ray and his family. I wish them the best. I’m just making a choice on my own, that’s all.”
On moving forward without Allen: “I’m focusing on Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, the new guys that are here, I wasn’t going to come here and answer a bunch of Ray Allen questions, I was going to answer one time and then focus on what’s right here in this gym, what’s present. And that’s where I’m at.”
Quite revealing stuff from the veteran power forward. Pregame handshakes before the start of the opener should be interesting to say the least.
Every single member of the Celtics roster spoke with the media today, as well as Doc Rivers, Danny Ainge and Wyc Grousbeck. We will have full transcript of their quotes, but here’s a few quick hitters for the interim to keep everyone informed.
–Chris Wilcox calls himself at 90 percent health-wise in his return from heart surgery, although he is having trouble with his wind.
–Darko Milicic spoke for the first time as a Celtic after the team officially signed him to a contract this morning. Quote of the day via Jimmy Toscano of CSNNE.com, asking Darko how he felt coming into the season: “Strong as shit.” He should be fun to talk to for the next few months.
–Avery Bradley expressed his confidence level at “the highest its ever been.” He’s ahead of schedule in his recovery, but is nowhere near close to ready in returning.
--Jeff Green and Wilcox spoke at length on the strong bond they shared during the past season after their similar heart ailments.
–Jason Terry stole the show with his response on replacing Ray Allen? “Who?”
Much more on the way in the hours to come……