Kevin Garnett knows how good the Celtics-Cavs series could be. (Boston Herald)
“The competition should be great,” KG said in a low monotone. “The matchups are somewhat legendary. Both teams are very solid teams. Cleveland leads the league. They’re the No. 1 team. We respect that. Both teams have a lot of different weapons. It’ll come down to execution and making shots, obviously. A lot of components which make a basketball game what it is are going to come into this series. The bench is going to come into this series, the matchups are going to come into the series. It should be a really, really good competitive series.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Garnett deadpanned. “I’m just happy to be healthy and in a situation to help my team out.”
Somewhere Bill Belichick wiped a tear from his eye.
Paul Pierce was told about KG’s waltz around the issue.
“He’s definitely one of the ultimate competitors of all time,” Pierce said. “It’s something he’s never going to talk about, but you’ll see it come out once we get started.”
Pierce is right, Garnett is one of the ultimate competitors of all time. That’s why I hate when Garnett throws an ill-conceived elbow and everyone on earth chimes in about what an asshole Garnett is. When that happens, all it does is overshadow what should be the real story — that Garnett is one of the few players ever created by the basketball gods who refuses to take a play off, no matter what. He plays as hard as any player who has ever held a Spalding in his hands. He gives 100% effort from the time the ball is tipped until the buzzer sounds. He cries about losing seasons. He cries after championship seasons. He beats his chest and he spews vulgarities, but he does it because he can’t contain the competitiveness inside of him.
And when Garnett does something stupid and everyone disparages him, all it does is stop people from talking about the reason everyone should love Garnett rather than loathe him.
In a league where a lot of players don’t seem to give a damn, Kevin Garnett does. He really, really does.