Kevin Garnett is a man possessed. However, he is not possessed with basketball; so much as he is possessed with the will to compete.
Mired in an organization of mediocrity for over a decade, Kevin Garnett finally got his chance to use his competitive edge for a team that is apparently just as competitive: the Boston Celtic.
The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Kevin Garnett with the fifth pick of the NBA Draft. After having dominated the McDonald’s All-American Game, Garnet, aka KG, declared for the draft the same year that Maryland Terps Legend Joe Smith came out of the college ranks. Obviously, KG was not the big prize of the draft, but being the first high profile draftee to come out of high school in some time, KG’s achievements were well documented early in his career, and Minnesota, along with the rest of the NBA world, became witness to a game transcending player.
KG’s arrival in Boston has brought his transcending play to a major market. And if you couple that talent with the acts of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, well as you can see, there has not been a team this talked about since the Lakers brought on Karl Malone and Gary Payton to join Shaq and Kobe.
It is still early in the 2007-2008 NBA Season, but KG’s passion to compete has already completed its osmosis throughout the roster of the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are off to a franchise best start, and they are running through teams like the ice through KG’s vein. Naturally, KG is up to his old ways, playing like an MVP candidate. He is averaging 19.5 points per game, along with 11 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.8 blocks. Not the most gaudy of numbers, but they speak to just how much he contributes to this team, as well as to the ease with which he has helped the Celtics destroy other NBA teams.
Garnett is not the biggest talker in the NBA. At least not in the way the sports world defines the word. You do not hear him rationing out guarantees. He does not call out other players. In addition, you never heard a peep from him about asking to be traded out Minnesota.
Instead, KG does his talking on the court. And I do not just mean with his play, because as a future hall of famer, we all know the man can ball. I am talking about his actual talking on the court. KG barks and screams at his players; encouraging, instructing, motivating and educating them throughout the onset of the game. While there are a lot of players whose words are heard but nobody listens, KG is not one of them. When KG speaks, you listen. Whether that is because of the passion you see glaring from his eyes, or if it is only because you have never seen a man slap his hands together with such intensity, you do not want to be the player that crossed KG.
Kevin Garnett just loves the game of basketball. When he comes to the court, you know he is bringing his game, his intensity, and his passion every time out, for every minute of the game. Even the minutes in between play, he will not let the opposing player take a shot at the basket, because it honestly makes him angry to see the other team put the ball in his hoop, even if it does not count.
Kobe Bryant may have more talent. Shaq in his prime may have been more dominant. Tim Duncan wins more championships. And LeBron James sells more sneakers. But not even one of them has played harder, for longer, and with more passion than KG since the day he was drafted. And not another player will out due him in those regards until the day he retires.