On July 12, Kevin Garnett was traded to the Brooklyn Nets after six years in Boston and one NBA championship. It’s hard to believe that “The Big Ticket” is entering his nineteenth year in the league, but even more incredible is the fact that Garnett can still play. Sure, KG hasn’t averaged twenty points or ten rebounds per game since 2006-2007, his last year in Minnesota, but he found a new role in Boston as part of “The Big Three” and wasn’t the player who was going to take the last shot. To be fair, some fans in Minnesota may argue that Garnett never was comfortable taking the final shot.
This isn’t a story about Garnett’s place in NBA history: 19.1 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game over eighteen seasons says a lot, and of course, KG is still playing. This is a story about chemistry and transformation. Kevin Garnett found the chemistry he needed in Boston with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, and helped transform the team which led to an NBA championship. Can Garnett find that same chemistry in Brooklyn?
When I think of the long career of Kevin Garnett, and the fact that he is still doing what he loves, I am always taken back to 1995 when Garnett was drafted by Minnesota and months later when I met him days before his NBA debut. It reminds me of a time when anything was possible.
On the same day that Kevin Garnett was traded to Brooklyn with his long-time teammate Paul Pierce, I was also looking at move to Brooklyn. I had left Los Angeles several months before and returned to my childhood home in Minnesota.
I laughed when I heard the news about the trade, and the possibility of once again watching Garnett play in person, eighteen years after I met him in Fargo. I was reminded of the idea of transformation and the consistently lingering question of “what’s next?”
Who knows what Kevin Garnett will accomplish by the time his NBA career is over. He may have another couple years left in him, and might even win another NBA championship. In fact, I might even be in Brooklyn to experience it. At the end of the day, I will always associate K.G. not necessarily by individual accomplishments, but by his commitment and transformation over the years.
When I was a young kid with hopes for the future – KG was inspiring me with his play in Minnesota. When I made a move to Hollywood for six years and didn’t necessarily have the best chemistry – KG was inspiring me by winning a championship in Boston (on a team with excellent chemistry). When I moved back to Minnesota and wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do next – KG was inspiring me by continuing to play at a high level.
“Da Kid” may not be young anymore, but he is still “The Big ticket”. Are you ready, Brooklyn?
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