Kevin Garnett finally dismissed all doubt that he would return for the coming season, telling reporters that while he considered retirement, he’s once more decided to put it off, notes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). A report in June indicated that Garnett would be back with the Nets, but Garnett hadn’t spoken publicly about his plans. Retirement could be a ways off, as the 38-year-old said he won’t rule out playing beyond this season, the final year of his contract, as Bondy also relays (via Twitter). Still, Garnett’s comments gave Tim Bontemps of the New York Post the sense that he’s planning to hang it up next summer (Twitter link). There’s more from the player once known as The Kid as we detail the latest from the Eastern Conference:
- Garnett was in touch with Paul Pierce as the Wizards signee went through free agency and called his departure for Washington “bittersweet,” as Bontemps chronicles (Twitter links). KG said he was in the dark during former coach Jason Kidd‘s exit from the Nets, however, as Andy Vasquez of The Record tweets.
- Frank Vogel is entering the final year of his contract to coach the Pacers, but he tells Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports that he’d like to remain in the job “forever.” President of basketball operations Larry Bird has suggested that the team is open to negotiating an extension with Vogel before this season begins, as Agness points out.
- The Heat never made offers to veterans Andray Blatche, Ramon Sessions, Jordan Crawford, Wayne Ellington and others, team president Pat Riley and GM Andy Elisburg say, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Winderman surmises that the frustration that many veterans stuck at the end of the Heat’s bench expressed last year made the team wary of adding too many players with expectations of playing time.
- The Hornets are just beginning extension talks with Kemba Walker, but GM Rich Cho indicated to reporters Thursday that he’s pleased with the point guard’s growing maturity, as Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders points out.