Kevin, we can see you hobbling on the court. We know you’re favoring your leg. Your wincing and limping is enough for us to know that something ain’t right. And the decline in your play, by itself, points to you being injured.
We remember what you used to be like when you were healthy, and we can see that you aren’t quite there.
Rashard Lewis blew by you last night. Years ago, you would have had to have been drunk, high, and asleep for any power forward to drive by you, especially in the waning seconds of a tie game.
So please stop telling us you’re healthy.
Last night, you told reporters your health had nothing to do with your poor play (Via the Herald):
Garnett insisted the effort had nothing to do with the hyperextended right knee that kept him out 10 games recently, adding, “No, tonight was definitely not my night. The one thing about me is that I will continue to work and continue to try to get better. Hell, some nights you look good; some nights you look like (expletive). And this was one of those nights I looked like pure (expletive).
“I just played like (expletive). It’s on me.”
We understand you don’t want to make any excuses, that you’re a warrior not willing to blame anything but yourself.
But we see right through your fickle denials. We know you aren’t okay.
We have no idea when you’ll get better, or even if you’ll get better. Maybe it’s optimistic to even have hope you will ever be healthy again.
We have to come to terms with the fact that we have seen the end of your brightest days. Brighter days than now may be on the horizon, but they might not. Either way, your illustrious and storied prime is behind you.
Perhaps you are destined to live out the rest of your NBA career shuttling from the injured list to the active list, limping and wincing all the way through your retirement.
If so, what a shame. You finally reached the pinnacle of your profession, showed everyone that “ANYTHINNGG IISSS POSSSIIBBBLLEEE” while leading the Celtics to the franchise’s 17th World Championship banner. You had grabbed hold of the one NBA honor that had eluded you, but injuries took away your ability to properly defend your crown. You went up to catch an alley-oop against the Utah Jazz, and came down a different player. A lesser player.
You’re still a big part of everything the Celtics do, but no longer the biggest. The torch has been passed from you to Paul Pierce, and is in the process of being passed once more to Rajon Rondo.
We love you for everything you’ve done, for transforming the bottom-feeding Celtics back to the powerhouse of old. We understand that you’ve given your heart and soul to rebuilding the Celtics, and are now giving your heart and soul, as well as your body, to attempt to keep your team on top.
We know how proud you are. We know the pain of not being able to lead your team as you once could extends far beyond just the physical harm done to your body.
You’re unable to tell us everything that’s bothering you, but we can see it clear as day. You don’t have to pretend you are healthy. We can see that you’re far from it.
And it pains us, just like it hurts you. We want you to be healthy, we want you to be dominant. We want you to be the same KG we traded for almost three years ago.
But we know it’s unlikely that you’ll ever again be any of those things.