As the NBA Finals are upon us and the anticipation around the biggest rivalry in pro sports during the 1980's is brought back to life, I can only think about what this could potentially mean to a franchise, a city, and one man.
Kevin Garnett, one of the NBA's uncrowned kings, has finally gotten his opportunity, along with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, to try to get their hands on the most coveted award, the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Out of all of these men however, I'm rooting the most for one man.
This goes back for me in 2004. Kevin Garnett was still a member of the Timberwolves, and the team was coming off the most successful season in franchise history, reaching the Western Conference Finals. The current season was not going as well as the previous however, and the T'Wolves had taken steps backward, rather than in the right direction.
During the 2004-05 season, Kevin Garnett did an interview with John Thompson about where his head was at, and what he thought about the season. As Garnett grew more angry and frustrated during the interview talking about the touchy subject, he finally broke down and began to cry.
As Thompson asked him more personal questions, he was able to get out the words "It's not about me, it's about us."
(If you have never seen this interview, http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ef-f7EeDpYI&feature=related)
This is why I root for this man. This is why I have never wanted to see another athlete win a title more, in any other sport, than I want to see Kevin Garnett put a ring on his finger that says CHAMPION on it. I have never seen another basketball player who has the intensity, passion, and heart that Kevin Garnett has.
Two years later, Paul Pierce is saying that he has finally gotten the help that he desperately needed, and Kevin Garnett is finally around guys that understand him.
Trust me when I say this Kevin; you don't only have guys that understand you, you have an entire city and fan-base that understands you. Celtics fans feel your pain. Spoiled in the past, Boston went from hoisting banners in Boston Garden as fast as the gas prices are rising, to years of heartache with next season as the only thing to look forward to.
The other thing that impresses me about Garnett is he says that with putting on a Celtics uniform comes a huge responsibility, and that he wants to be able to put another banner in Boston. Because in the words of the man himself, "It's not about me, it's about us."
Rick Barry once said a championship is a cherry on top of a sundae. The sundae is still great, but the cherry is a nice finishing touch. There are plenty of players that don't have a cherry to their sundae.
Names that come to mind are Ewing, Malone, Barkley, Stockton, Miller, Iverson, Nash, Kidd, and Garnett. Although he has had a magnificent career regardless, I hope that Garnett is able to get his cherry.
But if he gets it, he won't want accolades, because "It's not about me, it's about us."