How Kevin Garnett Ranks All-Time Among Power Forwards If He Retires

Jay Wierenga@@JayWierengaCorrespondent IJune 28, 2012

How Kevin Garnett Ranks All-Time Among Power Forwards If He Retires

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    It's days like today when I feel truly old.

    It seems like just yesterday I was a high school sophomore watching Kevin Garnett play in his first playoff series with Minnesota.

    And now, at the end of a very long career, Garnett is pondering retirement.

    "The Kid" has truly grown up.

    So if he actually does decide to hang them up, where would he stack up among the all-time greats at power forward?

    Here are the top 10 power forwards and how Kevin Garnett's places among them.

10.Bob McAdoo

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    Amazing scorer, great rebounder and tremendous athlete.

    McAdoo won three scoring titles, an MVP trophy and was a valuable member of the Lakers later in his career.

9.Jerry Lucas

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    Jerry Lucas was the first player to win titles at all four levels.

    A tenacious rebounder, Lucas was often criticized for obsessing over his stats.

    A smart player, Lucas once memorized the entire New York phone book!

8.Kevin McHale

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    Kevin McHale, by today's standards, was an ugly player.

    He had no athleticism, a gangly frame and always looked like it pained him to run.

    In fact, it pained people to watch him run.

    But you can't argue with his numbers. He won three titles, was selected to countless All-Star games and even managed to win the Sixth Man of the Year award. 

    McHale was a great rebounder and perhaps one of the top five post scorers of all time.

7. Dolph Schayes

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    No, this isn't the guy who played the Russian in one of the Rocky movies.

    Schayes was one of the first great power forwards in the game.

    Blessed with great footwork and strength, he averaged over 18 points and 12 boards per game over his career, which included 12 All-Star teams and a championship.

6. Elvin Hayes

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    One of the first really big power forwards, Hayes could do it all.

    He was a gifted post scorer,  averaged over 12 rebounds per game over his career and was a tremendous shot-blocker.

    He made 12 All-Star teams and won a NBA title with the Bullets.

5. Bob Pettit

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    Bob Pettit came around when the Boston Celtics were dominating the league to the tune of 11 NBA titles, including eight in a row.

    However, the last team to beat them before they rattled off that tremendous run was Pettit and his Hawks.

    Pettit averaged over 26 points per game for his career and over 16 boards.

    He won two MVP awards and made 11 All-Star teams.

4. Charles Barkley

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    It's fun these days to joke around about the affable Barkley, but make no mistake about it, he was a beast back in the day.

    Despite being only about 6'4", he led the league in rebounding and finished with career averages of 22.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game.

    He played the game with such passion and pride, it was so hard not to love his style.

    The one mark on his record is the fact that he didn't win a championship. But in 1993, he did everything he could with the exception being not kidnapping Michael Jordan in a year in which he won the MVP.

3. Kevin Garnett

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    What a great run Garnett has had.

    He entered the league as a skinny small forward and will eventually leave it as a chiseled power forward.

    Along the way, he won an NBA title in 2008, an MVP award, a defensive player of the year award and was a 14-time All-Star.

    During his prime, there really was nothing he couldn't do on the court.

    What I really like about Garnett is his competitive spirit. The guy just flat-out refuses to lose, and this made his teammates better.

2. Karl Malone

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    Now let me clear the air. I personally do not like Karl Malone.

    I think he was a dirty player who deserved to never win a title, and I was so glad that my Pistons were the team that knocked him off the map in 2004. 

    However, that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate his game.

    Malone ran the court like few could, despite being built like a 6'9 linebacker.

    He had a feathery-soft release on his shot, was a great passer (especially on the outlets) and was an elite rebounder.

    Scoring-wise, there was nothing he couldn't do. He had great post moves, could face up, and practically perfected the pick-and-roll.

    He wasn't known for his defense, but his strength alone made him a formidable match-up.

    Again, I personally don't like the guy, but any list that doesn't have him in the top three is a mockery.

1. Tim Duncan

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    All you need to know about Duncan is that in the two decades before he got to San Antonio, the Spurs did not win a title. During his tenure, they have won four.

    He has won two MVP awards, has been on 13 All-Star teams, won the NBA Finals MVP three times and won the Rookie of the Year award.

    Offensively, he is unstoppable. His shot can't be blocked, he has tremendous footwork and he passes like a point guard.

    He can face up, post up or even knock down the occasional three-pointer.

    Defensively, he is smart, has great instincts and uses his tremendous quickness and length to block shots at will.

    There really is no flaw to his game. And he keeps going!