I just got an article of Insidehoops.com about this, it was a link to msnbc about KG being on a different team and said some stuff about the Lakers..
Let me say this first: All players want to win. You don’t get to be a professional athlete without being a great competitor. Yes, even Derrick Coleman. But as with every profession, there are degrees of desire and commitment. Some just want to succeed more than others. Yes, duh!
Hey, if you want a deep thinker, try Spinoza, Descartes or Phil Jackson.
Which left me to wonder why Kevin Garnett still hasn’t tried Phil Jackson.
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I’m sure Jackson would love to have Garnett and with Kobe Bryant and a role player or two, Garnett and Bryant sounds like a potential championship team to me.
Which always makes me wonder about Garnett and just whether he’s gotten so comfortable with money and mediocrity that he’s satisfied to continue playing out season after season with only a chance to make the playoffs, which he hasn’t done the last two seasons — seemingly impossible in a league in which more than half the teams make the playoffs — and let the blame fall elsewhere.
After all, he’s KG.
But rarely in the history of the NBA has a great player, or in the case of Garnett, a great talent, seemingly accepted being on an ordinary team so willingly. It makes Garnett one of the true enigmas of the NBA, the top talent who seems to accept failure so easily. And, yes, it’s a failure if you are Garnett and not even in the playoffs.
You have to explain yourself a lot when you talk about Garnett because he is so popular and such a terrific talent. I’ve long tried to cook up trades to get him to Chicago. I believe, despite what’s occurred in Minneapolis, that Garnett is a difference maker and could get a number of teams playing for a championship. I’d want him on my team.
What I always wonder is why Garnett seems to push for it less than I do.
It’s noble to want to commit to your team and stay the course through thick and thin (note: that’s all the clichés allowed in this column and I should be penalized for any more). But Garnett has given the Timberwolves 11 years and more than 30,000 minutes played.
Let him go!
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I don’t actually blame them for trying to hang onto Garnett because rarely, if ever, do teams fare well trading a star. But it often happens, and it usually is driven by the star because he wants to have a chance to play in the truly meaningful games.
This Timberwolves franchise remains a mess, little fault of Garnett’s. They never truly have recovered from Stephon Marbury’s defection and the illegal Joe Smith signing, and have continued a series of often ill-advised patchwork moves figuring Garnett could keep them in contention. But even that’s failed the last two years. So they picked up Mike James from Toronto. It sounds like another stopgap.
What I wonder is why Garnett never says, “Enough is enough” and demands to move on.
The Lakers have been pining for him. The Bulls would have put together a heck of a package of young players so Minnesota could rebuild quickly. The bidding would have been terrific. No, the Timberwolves wouldn’t have been a playoff team next season. But they may not be with Garnett, and then where are they in two or three years when he does leave or his value is so diminished it wouldn’t be worth trading him?
But, more significantly, why doesn’t Garnett push this? Sure, he’s under contract. But no team can survive its star wanting to be traded. They have to deal. Look at the Lakers and Shaq.
Charles Barkley did and said a lot of goofy things in his career. But he was determined to have a chance to win. He made a mess in Philadelphia and even may have vomited on the Liberty Bell. But he got his deal and was deep in the finals the next season.
Oscar Robertson may have been the most unappreciated great player in his own city ever. The circumstances were different, but Oscar wasn’t going to allow the Cincinnati Royals to send him to Baltimore. He got his trade to Milwaukee and won a championship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor). Magic Johnson decided to leave Michigan State after his sophomore year (rare then) because he knew he’d be playing with a center, either Abdul-Jabbar or Artis Gilmore as the Lakers and Bulls had the top two picks in the draft. The moves weren’t always popular, and Magic got burned later pushing for a coaching change, but the idea was to be in position to win.
One never seems to see that with Garnett.
Recently, Garnett was quoted in a SLAM Magazine article criticizing the Timberwolves front office and talking vaguely about leaving and his playing clock running out. All it would take is a declaration: I want out!
Like Barkley and Shaq and Abdul-Jabbar and many others have done in the NBA. Players are routinely then skewered in the media, called selfish and spoiled, and commentators weigh in with deep thoughts about responsibility in life. And then the guy gets to the finals and is celebrated.
Garnett’s got a mansion in Malibu. He’s done playing every April. He’s done playing for USA Basketball.