Kevin Garnett has com a long way since being drafted straight out of high school in 1995. He has almost had two separate careers. In his first 12 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves he was arguably the best power forward in the league over that stint, sharing the title with Tim Duncan of the Spurs.
He won the MVP in 03-04 and in that season single handedly brought the Timberwolves to the best record in the Western Conference and a birth in the Western Conference Finals. This was a lot more impressive when you look at his supporting cast that year. The starting lineup for that team was ... are you ready...... Garnett, Sam Cassel, Latrell Sprewell, Ervin Johnson, and Trenton Hassel. And people wonder why he never won a championship in Minnesota.
His career took a turn for the better when he was traded to a team that actually had NBA players on it in 2007 when he was traded to Boston. He not only changed his jersey but transformed his style of game. Dealing with 2 other bona-fide superstars Garnett had to sacrifice his scoring, but what he lost there he made up on the defensive end. Leading the Celtics to the #1 defense in the league and an NBA Championship.
Last year Garnett was 36 but played like that 26 year old player from Minnesota down the stretch. He was rejuvenated at the end of the season using his age as added motivation to prove the world and particular a one 76er's owner wrong. It was quite obvious by the end of the first round of the playoffs that the Celtics would only go as far as they could ride Garnett and his 36 year old body.
We all know how it ended in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat, and many thought Garnett would call it quits, retire, and hang up the kicks for the last time.
Not so fast, Garnett is back, and for a guy who all ready plays like a mad man he needs no added motivation. But that taste left in Garnett's mouth from the way it ended last year surely will be on his mind every time he steps out on the court. Banner 18 will be his Listerine, and KG is big on hygiene.
Garnett is the elder statesmen of a team of elder statesmen. Yet the Celtics will rely on the Big Ticket to be on the court in any big situation. He is the absolute heart and soul of this team, even with all the additions the Celtics have brought in. With him they are a legitimate title contender, without him they are the Indiana Pacers.
The main thing the Celtics need from Garnett this year will be to stay healthy. If he can get through the whole season without missing significant time Doc and the C's will be happy campers.
I'd imagine he will still be the Celtics number one option in the post and still be absolutely money with his now patented mid range jumpers. It may not always show up in the box score but there is one thing for certain; The Celtics need Kevin Garnett to produce to win Banner 18.
AND FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, KEVIN GARNETT