Tuesday Night, June 17, 2008
KG Ė NBA CHAMP!
I havenít watched much basketball this year, college or the NBA. But I flipped over to ABC with about 30 seconds to go in the NBA Finals, the Celtics leading the Lakers by about 40 points, seconds away from officially being crowned the champion. I had to watch. Seriously, Kevin Garnett has been so maligned for so many reasons over his career in Minnesota and even in these playoffs. The guy does everything. He scores over 20 points a game. He leads the league in rebounding. He blocks shots. He is a defensive player of the year. He is a great passer. He is a team leader who players follow. As incredible as Paul Pierce was in the playoffs, this was KGís team. It makes me feel good to see KG win after all those years of association with Kevin McFail.
And what was the first thing that he said to Michelle Tafoya in a post game interview? ďThis is for everyone in ĎSota!Ē He went on to say it was for a lot of other people that he has been around, but the first thing he went back to is Minnesota and I seriously thought that was pretty impressive!
ESPNís Greg Anthony made a great comparison between Kevin Garnett and Mr. Bill Russell, the Celtics center of yester year, who has two hands full of championship rings. He never was his teamís best scorer. He did things on the defensive end of the court, he rebounded, he blocked shots and teammates gravitated to him. Russell was always surrounded by great players (and played in a league with many less teams!). KG has been surrounded by good players once, when he, Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell took the Wolves to the Western Conference finals. This year, he was surrounded by great players, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, and others that just got things done, like Rajon Rondo.
After Garnettís interview with Michelle Tafoya, he was met by Bill Russell himself. Russell had told Garnett that if they didnít win a championship, he would give KG one of his rings. All Garnett kept saying to Russell was ďThank you! Thank you for everything!Ē Classy!
I have absolutely never liked the Celtics, never. But as soon as Kevin Garnett was traded to Beantown, I became a fan (even if I didnít watch many games). All I can say is Congratulations, KG! †
Sidenote on the NBA Ė Itís weird that people talk about how the NBA game is boring and teamís donít play defense and scores are lower. Well, I would argue the opposite. The NBA game today is now all about defense. Teams have figured out that in todayís game, defense is what wins. When the Lakers and Celtics were playing in the Ď80s, did anyone play Defense? I know Magic Johnson and Larry Bird didnít. Maybe the problem with the NBA is that teams play too much defense!