Kevin Garnett turned 38 years old during the playoffs but apparently he isn’t ready to call it a day yet.
He still thinks he has one more season left in him to give:
"Yes," [Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy] King said when asked if he believes Garnett will be able to play at a high level next season. "I think he's preparing earlier this year than he did last summer." (ESPN)
The difference between Garnett retiring now and playing the final season of his contract is more than $12 million in salary. But presumably he will return because he simply isn’t ready to leave the league he’s called home since graduating from high school, and because he thinks the Brooklyn Nets will be competitive; not solely because of the extra money.
After a horrible start under rookie coach Jason Kidd the Nets finished the season with a respectable 44-38 record, and that for the most part without centre Brook Lopez. If Lopez can escape injury next time round the Nets will certainly be competitive again.
Another factor which surely affects his decision to keep playing is whether Paul Pierce will play on. Pierce will soon be an unrestricted free agent, and if Pierce leaves Brooklyn for another team or retire, Garnett in all likelihood would end his own career.
The two have been on the same team since 2007 with the Boston Celtics, and it was Garnett that waived his ‘no trade’ clause to be sent, along with Pierce, to the Nets. A confirmation from KG that he will indeed return next season will indicate that Pierce also has no intention of leaving.
It will almost certainly be Garnett’s final year in the NBA, and there are worse ways to finish a storied career than contributing on a championship contending team.