When the Cavs lost Andrew Bogut to a broken leg, Tyronn Lue knew just who to call for reinforcement.
The Cavs coach attempted to lure future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett out of retirement after Bogut suffered a fractured tibia less than one minute into his first game in Cleveland against the Heat on March 6.
“I was like, ‘Man, you should come back and play for me.’ He was like, ‘Man, you all have a lot going on over there,’" Lue said on ESPN's NBA Lockdown podcast.
“That was before we hit our stride like we’re playing well now. He was like, ‘If you and [James] Posey were still playing, I would come.’ But he said, ‘But y’all are coaching and y’all are going through what you’re going through.’ He said, ‘Ah, I’m going to sit this one out.’ I said, ‘Okay. We’ll call you next year.’ ”
Perhaps Garnett would have been more inclined to return had the Cavs not posted such a terrible record in March. The defending NBA champions went 7-10 and played 12 road games, though the team has since turned things around and even routed the Pacers with four straight wins in the opening series of the playoffs to eliminate Indiana.
Garnett, who retired after the 2015-16 season following an exceptional 21-year career, has been spending his retirement working as a consultant for the Clippers and Bucks since January.