CLEVELAND — Kevin Garnett never imagined himself coaching. Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is making him consider it.
Lue said he has discussed a position on his staff with Garnett, the 15-time All-Star who recently retired after 21 seasons in the NBA.
“I talked to him about it. I know his wife is pushing for it a lot,” Lue said following practice Thursday. “Brandi is pushing for it, trying to get him to come and coach. He says he’s not ready yet. He goes back, ‘I might do it,’ but he’s back and forth. We’ll see. But I’d definitely make a spot for him if he wanted to come back and coach.”
Garnett last week ended a playing career that will someday land him in the Hall of Fame. The 40-year-old, who played with a relentlessness and intensity from the time he broke into the league as a teenager, said in the past that he wanted to stay tied to basketball but didn’t think he had the patience to coach.
Lue would like to have his close friend join him. He said Garnett plans to attend the Cavs game on Oct. 25, when LeBron James and his teammates will receive their championship rings and raise a title banner.
“I know he’ll be here for that and he says he’ll be around a lot,” Lue said. “We’ll see.”
Lue and Garnett worked together previously in Boston. Lue was an assistant on Doc Rivers’ staff with the Celtics during Garnett’s last four years with the team. He said the former league MVP’s attitude and professionalism were inspiring.
“Everything he’s done, he’s been a trendsetter,” Lue said. “Just seeing him leave the game and the way he played every night on a night-to-night basis, every practice from me being with him in Boston, just how he approached the game every single day. He was just like LeBron. One of the easiest guys to coach as far as being a superstar, as far as telling him what to do, they would do it. If they didn’t like what you were doing, they’d pull you out to the side and tell you. They’d never call you out in front of everybody.
“Just having respect for everybody from the janitor to the owner. Him, Kobe (Bryant) and (Tim) Duncan (retiring) at the same time is bad for the game. But we all get old. It’s all part of the game.”