Kevin Garnett had to know that it was going to get bad.

The Celtics center said last Wednesday that his 15th All-Star appearance this weekend was going to be his last, and yesterday his peers started talking as if he was gone. Kobe Bryant even got sentimental.

“I remember being with him in 1998, and us being kind of the young guns on the block in the New York All-Star Game,” said the Lakers star. “To have him say this is going to be his last, it’s cool but also pretty sad.

“Appreciate him while he’s here,” said Bryant. “What he’s done, the consistency that he’s had in his career has been remarkable. It’s been a really great run for him.”

For Garnett, this was a little too similar to attending his own funeral.

By the time a Chinese reporter asked Garnett about his last All-Star appearance — yes, the news had spread over there as well — Garnett threw his hands up.

“I no longer know how to answer that question,” he said, more bewildered than annoyed.

But Garnett had come in armed with an explanation.

He misunderstood the original question, he said.

“I took the question as if someone was asking me about (the All-Star Game) next year, and I have no insight into whether I was going to be a definite All-Star,” he said. “It came out as if this was my last appearance. I’m not an egotistical guy who is going to say, ‘Yeah, I’m going to be an All-Star next year.’ To be honest, I’m grateful to be here, honored and humbled, and I wasn’t going to make a comment I felt was out of hand.