Injured Brooklyn Nets center Kevin Garnett is expected to be back in the lineup with his Nets teammates next week after missing 16 consecutive games due to back spasms. Oddly enough, the Nets have actually played much better with the 37-year-old Garnett out of the lineup than they did with him in there. A big reason for that is that Garnett isn’t the same player he once was at the ripe age of 37. He’s been in the NBA since 1995, and he’s become frail and slow with age.
“Garnett, who has been suffering from back spasms, missed his 16th straight game Sunday night,” said Barbara Marker from Newsday. “He hopes to return Saturday against Philadelphia, April 8 at Miami or April 9 at Orlando.”
At one time the 6’11″ rail thin Garnett was a good rebounder and a halfway decent scorer, but age has crippled his game to where he’s just another player. He’s averaging 6.7 points per game this season with 6.7 rebounds. During his prime, Garnett averaged over 13 rebounds per game and 24 points. But that was a long time ago, and there’s no way that he’s going to be able to put up stats like that given his age and his fragile body.
The Nets are better off going with their younger players rather than having Garnett come back to the lineup and play his poor defense. Garnett is getting $12 million in 2014, and another $12 million in 2015. The Nets might want to consider moving on and letting Garnett in order to let their younger players see more time. When you get an older player like
Garnett making huge money without contributing the numbers that he once was, it’s not worth it to have him on the team. Maybe the Nets could use Garnett as a player coach his final season with the team in order to have him serve a useful purpose with the team, because coaching is pretty much about all Garnett could do at this point that would make him useful.