After every transition dunk, basket made after a foul, and shot blocked to prevent a critical field goal, his presence is felt. From tip off to the final buzzer whether he's in the game, getting some rest on the bench, or not even suited up, it's all energy from him. Anyone unfamiliar with the NBA would think he's a raging maniac. And this particular person would ask, "Why is this man in green actin' a fool?"
But everyone with familiarity to basketball knows who he is and why he acts in this manner.
Over the last 14 seasons it has been a trademark for Kevin Garnett to exhort a high level of intensity and emotion to compliment his fierce game. He roars, he violently beats the hardwood, and he bangs his head on the defenseless goal post.
Everyone loves to see this and it adds excitement to the game, but is it taking a toll on how much longer he can last in the league?
Garnett has brought this potency to every game since his debut with Minnesota in 1995, yet after nearly a decade and a half of extra passionate spurts it's probably getting harder to stay fresh at this point in his career. The 33 year old can't keep celebrating like he's still excited just to be playing in the NBA. He's not 19 anymore, he's exiting his prime, and it might be best for him to calm down a little.
This past season was a great example of how his constant boisterous demeanor is no good for him now that he's on the wrong side of 30. Early in the season, the whole Celtics team was eager to show the league they were the defending champs. So they each assimilated the charismatic energy that had rubbed off on them from KG. They played each game as if it was Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals all over again.
After a 27-2 start, the best start through 29 games in NBA history, the Celtics experienced a season changing loss to the Lakers on Christmas day.
After that, the Celtics, particularly Garnett, were never the same. A full season's worth of fatigue was upon them at that point. And two months later, the Big Ticket was essentially placed on Will Call for the remainder of the season and the playoffs when he strained his knee against the Jazz.
Garnett will never be "The Kid" he was with the Timberwolves, but displaying a compelling rampage after a great play could lower the effectiveness he still possesses.
He doesn't need to act like a monster to instill fear in his opponents or show what he's capable of. We know what he can do. We have seen it over the last 14 years.But that capability may be lost prematurely as ounce by ounce of it is spilled out through each physical expression of his desire to win.
Hard to imagine the guy calmly jogging down to the other end of the court after dunking on a defender during a fast-break and I don't expect him to give up his beastly behavior anytime soon. But let's just see if he decides to keep the hoisting of his blood pressure to a minimum.
If he keeps his cool, for the most part of the season, he'll have enough left in the tank to act like he's lost his mind throughout the whole playoffs and help Boston capture the 2010 and 2011 championships as promised.