We are spending some time looking back over the Boston Celtics championship season… in an effort to truly appreciate the efforts of those involved. In our twelfth installment of the series, we continue saluting our starters.
I’ll come right out and say it.
I didn’t like the Kevin Garnett trade when I first heard it. And don’t lie to me right now. More than a few of you out there agreed with me at the time. But that’s because we didn’t know about “KG.”
Kevin Garnett is a name attached to a bunch of statistics that a lot of us thought Al Jefferson might soon be able to duplicate. KG is the irresistible force that permeated the organization and forced everyone to assimilate. It’s a force built on pure emotion, with a hint of psychosis. I can’t really figure out how to explain it, because its indescribable… and so is KG.
I’ll admit that I had no idea what the KG effect would be. I’m also thrilled to have been wrong. Part of me is actually honored to have been alive to witness what goes along with it… the “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE” explosion/incoherant rant… the murderous, tongue wagging look he gave Lamar Odom… firing an 8 punch combo into Leon Powe’s chest after a huge dunk… the million other instance that would turn this appreciation into a Bill Simmons-length column.
It is not an understatement to say KG came in and changed the culture of the Boston Celtics. His zealous commitment to defense, coupled with Tom Thibodeau’s zealous commitment to defense, took what was supposed to be this teams most glaring weakness… and turned it into its biggest strength. Think about that for a second.
Everyone before the season had serious questions about our defense. We were supposed to be, in the eyes of experts, a team that had to outscore everyone to win. We were supposed to be a team that got 75 points a game from the Big 3 just to compete. But not only was KG a major force in shoring up our defense… the KG/Thibodeau combo turned this into one of the most dominant defensive teams in history.
It is absolutely impossible to comprehend how Garnett brings the level of emotion that he does every game. Its like the pre-game pounding of his chest starts a motor that doesn’t stop until he’s home from the game. I could write about it all day long, and never really come close to describing it (no matter how many analogies that I try).
I’m stating the obvious by saying the KG trade was the single biggest reason why the Celtics are where they are. But it goes well beyond the baskets, rebounds and blocks. Call it his aura… energy… life force… intensity… whatever. All that stuff… and maybe a few words that haven’t been invented yet… make KG what he is. And whatever that is, doesn’t exist in any other human being. But it exists in KG. And for that, KG, we appreciate the job you’ve done in helping us achieve the ultimate goal… an NBA title.
The Celtics are ending mini-camp a day early… so today’s going to be the last chance for guys to make their impressions on Danny and Doc. In the meantime.. the C’s continue to work on James Posey