The Cavaliers asked Kevin Garnett to come out of retirement following Andrew Bogut's injury. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

After doing battle with him for so many years in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers apparently wanted to sign Kevin Garnett.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue revealed that the team reached out to the 15-time All-Star big man to come out of retirement after the season-ending injury to Andrew Bogut in early March.

“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,'” said Lue, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “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, ‘OK. We’ll call you next year.'"

Lue coached Garnett as an assistant in Boston from 2009 to 2013, and Posey, currently an assistant on Lue’s staff in Cleveland, was teammates with Garnett on the Celtics and won the 2008 championship with him. Cavs guard Deron Williams was also briefly teammates with Garnett on the Brooklyn Nets.

The Cavs were desperate for a backup center at the time after Bogut’s hard-luck injury (video here). They ultimately wound up taking a flier on Larry Sanders before seeing that experiment go kaput as well and signing project big Edy Tavares instead. 

The 40-year-old Garnett, who has been doing consulting work for the Clippers and Bucks since retiring, likely wouldn’t have had much left to offer them physically. But it all just goes to show how much NBA teams still value having the ex-MVP’s leadership presence around in some capacity.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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