CLEVELAND -- If 15-time NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett needs a new job after calling it a career earlier this offseason, he has an open invitation to join the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the first days of training camp ahead of the 2016-2017 season, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue extended an offer for Garnett, the 2004 NBA Most Valuable Player and former member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, to join Cleveland’s coaching staff.
“I talked to him about it,” Lue said. “I know his wife is pushing for it a lot. Brandi’s pushing for it, to try to get him to come and coach. He just says he’s not ready yet. He’s goes back and says, ‘I might do it. I might,’ but he’s playing back and forth, so we’ll see, but I’ll definitely make a spot for him if he wanted to come back and coach.”
Although Lue has yet to hear if Garnett will or will not accept the offer, he expects his former charge with the Celtics to spend some time in Cleveland over the next few months.
“He’ll be here for sure,” Lue said. “I know he’s coming to opening night, to the ring ceremony, so he’ll be there for that, but he’ll be around a lot. We’ll see.”
In 21 years in the NBA, Garnett scored 26,071 points, pulled down 14,662 rebounds, including 11,453 on the defensive end of the floor, handed out 5,445 assists, blocked 2,037 shots and stole 1,859 passes while shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 78.9 percent from the free-throw line.
Garnett is the first player in NBA history to get drafted out of high school and play 20 or more years in the league.
While Lue would welcome Garnett onto the coaching staff, he was filled with disappointment when the veteran power forward decided to end his playing career.
“He would’ve been the first player in NBA history to play in his teens, 20s, 30s and 40s,” Lue said. “I just thought that it would’ve been great for him. Just seeing him go, just seeing what he brought to the game coming out of high school, all the guys that try to mimic him, the things he did with the powder first, having his boys in the commercial first, in everything he’s done, he’s been a trendsetter.
“Just seeing him leave the game and the way he played on a night-to-night basis, every practice with me being with him in Boston, just how he approached the game every, single day, he was just like LeBron. He’s just one of the easiest guys to coach as far as being a superstar, as far as telling them what to do, they would do it.
“If they didn’t like what you were doing, they would call you to the side and tell you. They would never call you out in front of everybody. Just having respect for everybody from the janitor to the owner, that’s our motto. Him, Kobe and Duncan at the same time? It’s bad for the game, but we all get old, and it’s just part of the game.”