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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why KG CAN Hate the Wolves

Michael Rand wrote some stupid blurb on his blog over at the Star Tribune earlier regarding the comments Kevin Garnett made to a Boston Herald writer. If you haven't seen what KG said, check it out.

Anyways, the stupidity of Rand's thought process annoyed me a TON. Let's break it down quickly (Rand's comments are in blue):

What, exactly, is KG angry about when it comes to this franchise?
Several, several things, but I'll get into that deeper into the post.
Could it be the chance the Wolves gave a skinny high school kid to play pro basketball -- a dream nurtured pretty well during those early years in Minnesota?
This is true; the Wolves absolutely gave a skinny high school kid a chance to play pro basketball. What's frustrating about this kind of writing is that Rand is implying the Wolves were the ONLY TEAM that would have given KG the chance to play in the NBA. He was the fifth overall pick in the draft, and the first kid to jump from high school to the NBA since Moses Fucking Malone. If the Wolves didn't take him at 5, he would have still been a lottery pick. If Rand is suggesting the coaching KG received early in his career is to thank, well, I'm at a loss for words after we've seen what Flip Saunders can do without KG.

Let's not get it mixed up here: KG saved a floundering franchise; a laughingstock since the league expanded in 1989, the Wolves didn't save KG.

Could it be roughly $185 million he made in a Timberwolves uniform after signing two of the biggest contracts in NBA history?
Again, if it wasn't the Wolves giving him this money, someone else would have. Yes, his first contract was HUGE and it's not guaranteed someone else would have given him quite that much... but he would have made something like $160MM regardless of where he played during that time on a conservative estimate. So again, it's not like the Wolves were his only option. KG was loyal, and in an age now where players like LeBron, Bosh, Chris Paul, etc. all leave their teams to play with their friends, KG signing two contracts to play in Minnesota after all the mistakes the front office continued to make is a reflection of his loyalty to the only franchise that he'd ever known.

For years, KG went out of his way to say he wanted to make things work in Minnesota. He loved that they drafted him and gave him the chance; I remember an interview back around 2004 after the Cassell and Spreewell situations blew up when KG asked why he needed to be the one to go. Why couldn't the decision makers be the ones to go? KG was absolutely right. The Wolves chose Kevin McHale over Kevin Garnett. KG had to be convinced over a three month period to accept a trade to the Boston Celtics, remember? Leaving Minnesota was one of the last things he wanted. He was forced out; once he was gone, he won immediately. Wouldn't anyone hold resentment toward the Wolves organization in that situation?

Could it be the way everyone fawned over for his entire time here?
He only wrote this because it makes his post look longer, I think. It has no relevance to anything, and it's not clear whether he means front-office executives or fans or both with "everyone." It's just bad.

Could it be that when it became clear the Wolves were in rebuilding mode, they dealt him to a team that immediately became a contender and finally delivered KG his precious NBA title?
Did you watch KG while he was in Minnesota? Did you watch the teams he played with? He carried a list of nobodies for years and was consistently one of the league's best players. He was arguably the league's BEST PLAYER from 2000-2005. The only teams that could make a competitive offer for KG were the Bulls and the Celtics. The Wolves picked Al Jefferson and company, along with their own draft pick (which they knew would suck) that they had already traded to Boston in a previous deal over the Bulls offer.

Had KG gone to Chicago, they also would have been instant contenders. To suggest the Wolves were kind enough to ship KG to the best situation and chose anything but the best offer is unfair to the Wolves. KG won the title with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. To somehow turn that into "delivering KG his precious NBA title" is, again, just bad.

We haven't forgotten history. We know the roster could have been much better in order to give KG a shot to win a title here. We also know Garnett's disappearing acts in the clutch didn't help, either.

He's 100% right the roster could have been much better. KG's "disappearing acts in the clutch" however, are a common misconception among Wolves fans. Sadly, you aren't just a fan. You should be better informed. "Clutchness" is vague, because one could argue that KG averaging considerably better numbers in the playoffs than in the regular season would mean he's "clutch", right? He's playing better when it matters more. Of course, one could also argue that all that matters is end of game shots, and KG never seemed to make any of those, right? Either way, KG's numbers actually improved in the clutch. Sadly, nobody realizes this.

Bottom line: It's a ridiculous quote and a ridiculous attitude to have.
No. No. No. It is not ridiculous. He was forced out of a place he loved. He chose to stay in Minnesota during the best years of his career and the team wasted those years. Wasted. Now that the Wolves have Kevin Love, fans are quick to forget how great Garnett was. Even with Love's amazing, eye-popping numbers, I'd take KG in his prime over Kevin Love in his prime every day of the week. What's ridiculous, Mike, is that you are so quick to forget how poorly this franchise really treated one of the greatest players in NBA history. If he's still bitter, he has every right to be.

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