I fulfilled a lifelong dream last night.
I sat courtside at an NBA game.
I'm from Los Angeles where courtside seats run for thousands of dollars. But I moved to Michigan a year ago where the bad team plus the bad economy added up the perfect equation for me to snag those same seats at a deeply discounted price.
For three hours I watched the Celtics squeak out a close win over the Pistons from ten feet away. Being so close a few things stood out to me, like how much referees fondle the players butts while they discuss calls, and if Jonas Jerebko shaves his armpits or if Swedes are just naturally hairless.
But the sticking point of the evening, and I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it myself, was that Kevin Garnett is the walking dead. He is not just playing on one leg, he's living on one leg
Every shot, every step, every jump, every time he stands up, he is doing it on his one good leg.
As a Lakers fan I was there to boo the Celtics. As an NBA fan I was saddened to see one of the league's icons over the last decade stumble around the court, haggard and worn down.
Kevin Garnett was a pioneer and a key figure in steadying the NBA's popularity after Jordan retired. He pioneered the modern day adoption of the versatile big man. He pioneered the leap from high school to the pros. He pioneered massive nine figure multi-year contracts.
During his Minnesota days I thought to myself that the player I will most miss watching in the future is Kevin Garnett. The mobile seven footer who could do it all.
That day came on February 19, 2009, the day he sprained his knee going for an alley-oop against the Utah Jazz. Kevin Garnett never played again, replaced with an inferior spectre in KG's likeness.
The most disappointing thing for me and millions of the Lakers fans is that we'll never get our Finals rematch. Our chance for payback is gone, vanishing the moment KG's knee failed him. Now it's time for the LeBron era. The time for the Celtics to rebuild was this past trading deadline.
The Celtics aren't going back to the Finals for one reason.
Kevin Garnett is gone.