The Cleveland Cavaliers needed rim protection heading into the postseason and they thought that they got it when they signed Andrew Bogut. However, Bogut got injured a minute into his Cavaliers debut and the team turned their attention on the retired Kevin Garnett.
In a recent interview with ESPN's NBA Lockdown podcast, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue revealed that he tried luring Garnett out of retirement. He noted that before the Cavs signed Edy Tavares, he called "KG" and talked to him about possibly playing in Cleveland.
"It was crazy. I talked to him right before we signed Edy, and I was like, 'Man, you should come back and play for me." And he's like, 'Man, y'all got a lot going on over there.' That was before we hit our stride the way we're playing well now," Lue said, via Yahoo! Sports.
"He was like, 'If you and (James) Posey were still playing, I would come but you're coaching, and y'all going through what you're going through. Ahh, I'm going to sit this one out.' I said, 'OK, we'll call you next year.' He started laughing and whatever," the Cavs head coach added.
The Cavaliers needed a presence down low after Bogut, who was signed for the sole purpose of protecting the rim, was injured in his first game with the team. The 32-year-old center suffered a broken left leg that ruled him out for the rest of the season, per NBA.com.
The defending champions subsequently released Bogut to make room for another big man. The Cavs signed Edy Tavares, who was waived by the Atlanta Hawks. But if Garnett was available, he would have had a chance to win his second NBA title.
Garnett retired last September 2016 after a 21-year career in the league. He started his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1995 and played there for 12 years. He was traded to the Celtics in the summer of 2007 and won his first and only championship in his first year in Boston.
The 40-year-old legend spent six seasons in Beantown before getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets. After a season and a half in Brooklyn, he was dealt back to Minnesota in 2015 where he retired as a veteran leader and mentor for the young Timberwolves team.
As of this writing, Garnett is currently the host of his own television show with TNT titled "Area 21" wherein he discusses basketball with former players and celebrities. He is also a current team consultant for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Based on the final several seasons of his career, Garnett is no longer the player he used to be. All the knee injuries and age have taken their toll on his body. It might not be advisable for him to return to basketball but anything is possible next season.
Garnett is one of the greatest players of his generation and one of the greatest players to have ever played the game of basketball. He was one of the few players who became successful after getting drafted out of high school.
"The Big Ticket" is a 15-time NBA All-Star, a one-time NBA champion, a one-time NBA MVP, a one-time Defensive Player of the Year, a nine-time All-NBA selection, an 11-time All-NBA defensive selection and a four-time rebounding champion. He finished his career with 26,071 points, 14,662 rebounds, 5,445 assists, 1,859 steals and 2,037 blocks.
"He's great for your culture. He does everything the right way. It's all about winning. It's not about him. And to have a Hall of Famer like that, and such a great player to make it all about the team, you know, I mean, it's unbelievable," Lue said on the podcast.
The Cavaliers are doing great in the playoffs without Garnett. They swept the Indiana Pacers in the first round and they are up 1-0 against the Toronto Raptors in the second round. The Cavaliers are still the favorites to advance to their third straight NBA Finals.