It’s easy to see that Kevin Garnett is rejuvenated this season. Any moron can see that. Hell, even my dad saw it. Last night the old man saw one of KG’s alley oops and remarked, “He’s like a completely different person this year. Last year he could barely dunk.”
The ability to dunk, clearly, isn’t the most important aspect of Garnett’s game. Defense is. But Garnett also spent time last season being burned by anybody with decent athleticism. Al Harrington put Garnett in the toaster oven. Andray Blatche baked him. Even Kris Humphries put Garnett on the stove and boiled him.
Garnett admitted today he lost confidence last year, after being repeatedly beaten by lesser opponents. But the confidence, like Garnett’s hops, has come pouring back.
“Rest is everything,” Garnett said. “And being healthy is another thing. I don’t like speaking about my own personal health, because everybody in the league has something they’re dealing with, and I was no different from it. Obviously, you can see the difference in the play. I have a little pep in my step, I’ve got a little bounce in my hop. And it feels good.
“A lot of times last year I was playing subpar guys, man, and they were getting by me, doing different things to where I knew that if I was 100 percent, no way that some of those things were happening. To be honest, I’m blessed. It’s something I have to deal with every day. But you can see the difference. You can see the difference. The confidence is there. When you get hurt — one of the things I’ve never had to battle was dealing with health issues to where it damages and messes with your confidence. I’m a very confident person. I would be lying if I said it didn’t test me. But it made me a stronger person mentally.”
If Garnett isn’t the same as he once was, he’s close. He’s affecting games in every way, and players who got the best of him last year have no chance this year. Ask Blatche what happened last night. This isn’t last year’s Garnett anymore.
In his interview with WEEI, Garnett discussed the new mood in the locker room. Shaq likes to keep everything joyful, but Garnett likes the mood dark and intense.
The high-intensity Garnett was asked if he agreed that Shaq has lightened the mood in the locker room.
“Unfortunately, I do [agree],” Garnett said. “I don’t like my mood to be lightened too much, man. I like to have an edge. When I take the floor, I like to be a certain way. I don’t do well when I’m giddy and kind of light. I do well when I’m dark and sort of concentrated. When I’m locked in, I look at myself as a threat. I don’t want to be too lighthearted when I go out there. Shaq is the opposite. He likes things light. He likes to keep you laughing. He likes the mood to be light.
“I think from [Doc Rivers'] perspective — or anybody’s perspective — they tend to think that I’m too intense at times. And I can understand that. But hey, man, this is my makeup. This is who I am. This is what I’ve been for a long time. It’s gotten me to this point. Like anybody else’s personality it’s who they are. This is my makeup. This is who I am.”
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I don’t think I speak alone: KG is a psycho, in the best way possible.
And he’s done talking about nobodies. Even if he briefly discussed Charlie Villanueva’s allegations today.
“Nah, it didn’t affect me,” Garnett said. “Obviously, if anything, it motivated me. But it was just kind of sad of just where we are in society, and even in the game, man. First off, the false statement which he was citing. Dude knew what I said to him. I’m not going to get back into it and bring it up, because you know what? I’m not speaking to nobodies these days. I’m not fitting to address nobodies. I’m not about to give nobodies any kind of energy or any kind of legs to run on.
“It was just one thing that I had to deal with that day. We all have to deal with different things every day. I had to pile that on to my list to deal with. You know what? It was sad. It’s just sad where we are in society, man, I don’t know, with being private. It’s sad to see where the game’s going, man. Like, if you and I are on the court or we’re outside on the blacktop and we’re chopping it up, we’re just going at it, and you say what you say, I say what I say. To me, where I’m from, that’s called trash-talking. That’s two guys bumping heads. End of story. Every night you deal with it. Every night you go against a guy, even if you’re in practice, it don’t even matter, man. I trash talk with guys who don’t even play basketball.
“But to sit here and make up pointless things just to get — what do you call that, followers? I don’t even know what Twitter is. Shaq had to break it down to me. To get followers, or to get people to hear you, because you’re not heard. Well, there’s a reason people don’t hear you. There’s a reason people don’t follow you. Those things. The things that people are doing to get attention these days. And then on top of that, no one checks facts anymore. You can just say whatever you want to say, and then it’s reality. Which is absurd to me. So, you know what? What you’ve been seeing is a more composed, more, ‘Let me just lock in.’ I’m not really dealing with nobody these days. I’m trying to focus on what I’ve got to do and sort of stay in my lane, so to speak.”
What a great interview. Whether you like Kevin Garnett or not, he’s a fascinating guy.