|Posted by shawn cassidy on August 13, 2012 at 7:30 AM|
In this post I decided to put today's KG against his younger self from 2004. KG has been through many stages in this long career. KG has been "The Kid" . In that era he was a kid out of high school full of smiles, and he lighted every NBA arena. His love was easily portrayed on the TV screen. As KG matured, he became "The Big Ticket". Kevin became a superstar, and a franchise player. The target was placed on his back to do great things. He was carrying the load for an entire team. He had his heart broken twice in his career. When his friend, and teammate demanded a trade. Marbury wanted the spotlight for himself. He wasn't willing to share the spotlight with the bigger star.
Than KG lost his great friend Malik Sealy. It was a horrible tragedy to endure for KG. It took awhile for KG to get accustomed to teammates again. But he finally did. In that process KG was gaining personal success. But his team was failing year after year.Losing in the first round of the playoffs became a reminder that KG couldn't take. Finally KG was given two teammates that helped him turn the Wolves around. Cassell,and Spree took a lot of the load off of Kevin, and in that process. KG had his best all around season. The T'Wolves put together their best record as a franchise ,and KG put up his best numbers. KG was rewarded with his first, and only MVP award. The Wolves would lose in the Western Conference Finals to the Lakers. That would be KG's last trip to the playoffs with the Wolves in 2004.
KG was then traded to Boston in 2007, and KG changed the Celtics once he arrived. He became more involved. He wanted to teach guys, and he became more hands on. He became like a blood transfusion. He infected the team with defense. The Celtics became so obsessed with defense. It was the driving force to the 2008 title. KG had finally won a ring, and Garnett reached great heights with some of the best that played the game. KG had changed from being a player carrying the entire load, and looking unhappy. To a player that became a better leader, and more of a teacher. KG is very close to his 2008 level. And if I had a choice between 2004,and today's KG. I would have to go with KG of today. His knowledge of the game, and his ability to teach has become the biggest reason for KG's explosion. Look at this recent column about KG's teachings.
"One day, KG saw me on the bus," he said. "I had my hoodie on. I was a little down. I wasn’t playing. He could tell I wasn’t the same Avery, always smiling but shy, and he told me, ‘You know what? I was sitting back in my room last night watching tapes of you in high school.
If you continue to work how hard you work every day and never give up, the way you played in high school, you’ll play in the NBA.’""Then, one day I’m on the bus after a game and all KG said was, ‘I told you,’" added Bradley. "At first I had no clue what he was talking about. He always sits in the back of the bus and tells his stories, and he’s like, ‘I told you that. If you continue to work … hard work always pays off.’ Coming from KG, that made me feel good and made me want to keep working, so I can be like him."
All roads lead to where we are going. The simplicity of innocence is forever flowing. KG knows how to encourage innocent players. His value today seems much more valuable than his value in 2004. He's become the total package. He can play at the highest level(not 2004 but still good), and he's become more of a teacher, and he's a bigger driver in team growth. KG of today would slightly beat KG of 2004. That's my thought anyway. He can play,and coach at the same time. Something so rare in today's NBA.