The Nets won, of course, outlasting the plucky Philadelphia 76ers 105-101 to secure the franchise’s second straight above-.500 season.
But the basketball gods had a little something extra in store for KG:
Garnett, who missed the previous six weeks of actions with back issues, finished with 10 points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of action.
Speaking to BrooklynNets.com’s Lenn Robbins after the game, KG sounded downright jubilant to finally be back in the fray, rejoining a team that continued finding its footing even after its emotional leader’s untimely setback:
The guys have been playing unbelievable. I just didn't want to come in here and knock off any rhythm. But I felt good and I felt solid. A couple of plays, I had to blow the cobwebs off some of the plays. I felt like a first-year rookie. I was not nervous, but I was anxious to get out there.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Garnett—who turns 38 on May 19—can sneak his way into the top 10 before all’s said and done.
With Dirk Nowitzki (currently No. 11) just a handful of one-legged fadeaways from Oscar Robertson (the current No. 10 at 26,710) and a few more from Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946), KG would most likely have to usurp the last of the three to make it into that pantheon—conceivable, assuming Garnett still has a few more years left in the tank.
The firebrand forward is signed through next season, of course, so if you want to be the one betting he’ll call it quits early, go right ahead. Personally, I think you’d have better luck banking on the tides to stop.