It’s only been two months but the best NBA story of 2007 is Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics.
Basketball is best when great players have a chance to play with other great players.
Until this season, Garnett’s most talented teammates have been too-young Stephon Marbury, too-young Sam Cassell, and never-young Latrell Spreewell.
And even in their primes, Marbury was always a loser and Spreewell was always a ticking time bomb.
It’s nearly impossible to play at your maximum potential when your GM has surrounded you with scrubs like Mark Blount and Troy Hudson.
Now teamed with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, Garnett has a chance to create a legacy for himself, and it’s only fair. Few players in the league compete as hard as Garnett does, or play as unselfishly as he does, or are such a positive beacon for the league as Garnett is.
He’s always handled himself with class, and has always been one of the most respected players in the NBA because of it. Now we get to see just how good he is.
The main knocks on KG are that he doesn’t raise his game in the playoffs, that he’s soft, and that he doesn’t produce in clutch situations.
All are fair criticisms—but at least now Garnett has a chance to answer them head on. He has the chance to play well in the playoffs with a team that can actually win. He has the chance to make big shots, or grab tough rebounds, or make crucial assists.
He has the chance to prove that his game isn’t just stats and hype. And the Celtics have skyrocketed to an impressive 29-3 record with Garnett’s unselfish play setting the tone.
Maybe Garnett will fail the Celtics in the playoffs. Maybe he will get pushed around, and maybe he won’t make the big plays when his team needs him too. Maybe his legacy will indeed end up being tarnished.
But at least Garnett has the chance to prove his detractors wrong.
It’s what NBA fans deserve.
Most importantly, it’s what Garnett deserves.