Thursday, August 02, 2007

It's over

Seeing Garnett plastered across a number 5 jersey colored in Boston Celtic Green was awkward. Was NBA 2k7 turned into reality? Growing up watching Garnett play for my hometown team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the experience was quite a joy. Not many fans can make such statement, especially for twelve years; I’ll even remark that I’ve taken the opportunity for granted. I never attended many games over the years yet Garnett made the Wolves an interesting event to watch. While Jason Kidd and Grant Hill are responsible for me getting into basketball and the NBA, Garnett’s play sparked an ongoing appreciation for basketball.

Minnesota carries a small town feel although it is a major city (not in a Chicago, L.A. NYC, Miami etc., sort of way). It is interesting to note most Minnesotans feelings towards sports figures. There is this small town, high school football attitude that surrounds these pillars. They love you when act accordingly and hate you when you fail to live up to an image. Garnett never wavered hence his respect and adoration is still intact. The boot was given to almost all of the Minnesota Vikings over the years, the Love Boat participants and Randy Moss/Daunte Culpepper. The same can be said of how sports figures thoroughly enjoy Minnesota. Garnett reiterated he loved “’Sota”. Torii Hunter, Kirby Puckett as well as others seem to get swept away. I’ve always wondered why, though, but that may be because while I’m fond of this city and state, if I was given the chance to get out of here for another city, I would. I think Garnett et al like the fact that they are “it” here; they are the one and only pieces of useless information Minnesotans can attach to their city.

I did not agree with the trade and was under the belief that the Wolves, with the last twelve years, and five more to come, could have put together a team for Garnett to win and be successful. However, with missing the playoffs the last three seasons, it has become clear that the Wolves GM, Kevin McHale, is not right in the head. And after shopping Garnett a month ago, around Draft time, it had severed whatever thoughts of Garnett returning; a deal had to be made. There have been many wrong moves since taking a risk with Garnett in ’95. And, there have been numerous chances for Garnett and the Wolves to make moves.

When Starbury and Garnett were place on a court it was magic. If only Starbury wasn’t a punk, bitch and a motherfukin whiner, the Wolves would have already been there and done that. Starbury’s move was a slap in the face. It’s easier in hindsight to wonder why the Wolves traded Ray Allen, whom Garnett will be with in Boston, to Milwaukee for the rights to Starbury because if Allen were paired with Garnett initially, things may also have been a wrap. Getting Terrell Brandon for Starbury took some time to come together. Brandon was a mature improvement that could have taken the Wolves far as well but alas, Brandon could never stay healthy. Other players such as Tom Gugliatta, Bobby Jackson and Chauncey Billups were never retained or long enough for an impact (Googs was on the downside of his career but still somewhat effective). The entire Joe Smith ordeal ruined the Wolves for a decade. Garnett liked Smith so much, that the Wolves circumvented contract rules to keep Garnett and Smith together. The aftermath of Smith’s Minny legacy is still felt. The Wolves never capitalized on the additions of Cassell and Sprewell; and as it turned out, after one year, both were problems. What if they had kept that three headed monster for more than one year or if Cassell never went down in the Conference Finals? After that disappointment, the whole thing crumbled. There was the firing of Flip Saunders; the signing of rapper/”I have a sprained right ankle for 4 years”, Troy Hudson; the infamous trade of Cassell and a first round draft pick for the Clippers’ Marko Jaric; the signing of Michael Olpwokandi; the poor drafts catching up the Wolves, most notably taking high schooler Ndi Ebi over Josh Howard; the Szczerbiak falling out and eventual shipping to Boston for Marcus Banks and Ricky Davis; having Ricky Davis on your team three years too late; Mike James…

Garnett went to Boston, because it was the only team that would give the Wolves something in return. Phoenix would not give up Stoudemire which was smart. As for Atlanta receiving Stoudemire for draft picks and some young fowards? Yeah, don’t know why the Hawks didn’t say yes on that one. Danny Ainge, the Celtic GM, and Kevin McHale, the Wolves GM, are former Celtic teammates; it is obvious to why and how this deal was done. As for Boston, they catapult to atop the Atlantic division. I know the Celtic roster is thin after Allen, Garnett and Pierce but three veteran superstars will be able to coexist. Iverson and Carmelo couldn’t pull off that feat because they both need 30 shots to sleep at night. Watching Garnett over the years, I know he is not Mr. Clutch whatsoever; he does everything else though. And he is great presence. Allen can contribute either way and he can be the go to guy when needed. Pierce can also pull an Allen but will jack up the bulk of the shots. The Celtics in the Finals is far from a sure thing as they’ve got to fend of many other so-so teams in the East. I can never trust the Nets to produce; Kidd, Kristic, VC or Richardson is always injured. The Zach Randolph experiment for Thomas could blow up; Randolph may run the Knicks daycare system ragged with using crayons on the walls. I still have an uneasiness about Bosh’s hair and Raptor-like features. And Philly will continue to stink up the joint as long as Ashton Kutcher’s still there. The Heat are too old and DWade’s too busy depancing Chuckley’s face; the Cavs will remain a one man Circus; Arenas will begin to blog about selfishness and how he intends to pay back all the teams that overlooked him. Although Detroit’s strength is iffy, they still have a team to thwart the West. Chicago presents the only other possible threat to the Celtics. It is real but until they get Kobe, I won’t crown them.

As for the Wolves, they did the best they could. The Garnett deal may have been a year too late but who knew the Wolves would do so such a hack job surrounding Garnett with serviceable players. Trading superstars will never get you anything amazing in return—remember you’re the one trading the main piece. Al Jefferson will be an alright replacement and, the hope is, he’ll have the opportunity to bond (no homo), on the court, with PG Randy Foye. High flyer Gerald Green will fizzle out sometime in a few years. Ryan Gomes will be serviceable. I have hopes of Sebastian Telfair but his troubles will get the best of him and he’ll probably get cut. And the draft picks might help but for the next few years the Celtics will be playoff bound, so not really. The Wolves success lies in the “Foye dished to Jefferson” Sportscenter clips. While it should start to work later next season, who knows to what extent and how far it will take the Wolves in the tough West and even a tough Northwest Division. There’ll be Utah, with Deron Williams and Boozer; Denver with Melo and Ivy; Seattle with Jeff Green and Kevin Durant; and Portland with Oden, Roy and Aldridge.

The one knock on Garnett was that while he was a super star, he could never win games in the fourth quarter. He could, but more often than not, he passed the rock to has beens. His case is an oddity: a super star that could carry a team alone but could not win games with his shot in the playoffs. He has always done things by himself so with assured help his worth will shine bright in Boston. I’ve always questioned where Tim Duncan would be without Robinson, Parker, Ginobli and a great cast of role players. Duncan doesn’t have to be his team’s leading voice, scorer, assister, rebounder, stealer, cheerleader and blocker. Garnett’s ability is special and one of a kind. The things I will miss seeing on a nightly basis are his rim shaking to crowd roaring power, his “damn I didn’t think that could be rebounded/blocked” plays and especially his near perfect fade away jumper from 18 feet.


At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin Garnett Speaking to Himself: "Fuckin mothafuckas gon fuck this shit...I'ms slamall on all these mothafuckas...."


At 7:19 AM, Blogger Enigmatik said...

Hilarious Mally...

For your sake Major, I hope Minny gets good sooner rather than later. Take it from a Bulls fan who had to suffer through complete mediocrity for the first half of this decade. The firs thing the T-Wolves need to do now that they've done this make over is get rid of McHale. Move from there, and they'll be on their way to respectability again.

At 10:39 AM, Blogger The Major said...

Yeah, the Bulls did have some years where it was like "eye muffs"... yeah McHale needs to be run out of town and hung with those ugly ass Coogi sweaters.

Hahahaha... KG swears like its nothing.


Post a Comment

<< Home