Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland is an incredibly gifted shot-creator, the best ball-handler to don the Wine and Gold since Kyrie Irving and a three-level scorer with a feathery soft touch and missile range. So good in fact that a number of notable NBA players have come out over the past few years to discuss how difficult he is to guard, including Golden State Warriors all-world defender Draymond Green.
Former NBA point guard Jeff Teague is the latest player to point out how talented Garland is, saying that the Cavs’ floor general retired him.
“I got a story about [De’Aaron] Fox, he retired me. Him and Darius Garland retired me,” Teague begins, recording another episode of his popular Club 520 Podcast. “Shoutout to DG. They retired me.”
[De'Aaron Fox] and Darius Garland retired me… Fox made me wanna go to the bench… My knees still suffering from them change of directions. He was running so fast I'm like, 'What did I do to him?'"
— Jeff Teague
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) August 8, 2023
“Fox didn’t retire me,” Teague says, correcting himself. “Darius Garland retired me. Fox made me wanna go to the bench. I was like Yeah, I’m ready to come off the bench man. He was running so fast one game man… He just kept running at me. I’m like… ‘Do he think I’m sweet?'”
Keeping up the humor, Teague comically says, “…My knees still suffering from them change of directions. He was running so fast I’m like, ‘What did I do to him?'”
The answer? Teague dunked on him in a previous contest, which is an offense that Fox clearly would not let slide.
Joey Mistretta ·
While Teague didn’t explain how Garland retired him in this clip, his final game against Cleveland — which occurred in his final NBA season — saw him coming off the bench for the Boston Celtics in a seven-point loss. He finished with four points, one rebound, one assist, one steal, one block, two turnovers and two fouls in 14 minutes while going 2-5 from the floor.
Garland finished with 25 points (the second-highest mark on the team behind Collin Sexton’s 29 points), six assists, one steal, and two turnovers in 38 minutes while shooting 9-16 from the floor.
Now 23-years-old and an All-Star, Garland is coming off of two of the best seasons of his career. Perhaps just as importantly, his numbers are all but unaffected by the arrival of former Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.