December 22, 2010. Mark this date down on your calendars, folks.
It’s the first time Kevin Garnett’s desire has ever been questioned. His manhood has been questioned at times, when people say he picks on European players and weaklings. But never his desire, until now.
Okay, so it wasn’t questioned too fiercely. But Kendrick Perkins (somewhat) called KG out when discussing the timetable for his own injury. (Boston Herald)
‘It was two different surgeries, two different guys,’ Perkins, who had the more radical surgery, said of Garnett. ‘Believe it or not, me and KG are mentally different. KG had to take his time getting back, and I’m a guy who will push to get back quicker. It’s the difference between me and him.’”
Is this comment important enough to respond to? Maybe, maybe not. But we always hear about KG’s never-stop-for-anything mentality. We hear that he eats small children, once killed a baby goat with his bare hands, and eats sandpaper for breakfast every morning. After all the stories of KG’s unrivaled desire (and seeing it in person as he slams his head against the basket stanchion, or crawls on all fours, or claps in an opponent’s face), we figured he returned as quickly as possible from his injury. Not for a second did we ever consider the possibility he actually took his time coming back.
Until Kendrick Perkins aired the possibility. I’ll repeat Perk’s comments, just because it’s still jarring to hear KG might have taken his time coming back.
”KG had to take his time getting back, and I’m a guy who will push to get back quicker,” Perk said. “It’s the difference between me and him.”
I always thought the difference between the two players was that KG possesses an infinitely more complete offensive repertoire, and far more mobility, and that KG’s face isn’t permanently stuck in a scowl. But are we really supposed to add to those differences, “Perk returns from injuries as quickly as possible, while KG takes his time”?
I’m still not ready to do that, regardless of what Perk said. KG’s injury was supposed to take a full year to recover from – and a full year after his surgery, KG was back to being KG. There was never a time when it seemed KG was spending anything less than every morsel of energy he possesses to return to full mobility. He dragged his leg behind him for much of last season, but KG never stopped busting his ass to come back strong. From where I was sitting, at least, that’s how it seemed. And when it comes to matters of KG and heart, I’m always going to lean toward “KG has more of it than any other basketball player I’ve ever seen.” He’s earned the benefit of the doubt.
So take Perk’s words with a grain of salt, and remember he probably didn’t even mean what came out of his mouth. But also keep in mind — Perk is the most candid Celtic, one of the most open and honest interviews in the entire NBA. If KG really had slacked (and I still don’t think he did), Perk would probably be the first one to call him out.
Maybe he already did call him out. Or maybe he’s just saying, “Guys, I’ve even worked harder than KG. Do you know how tough it is to work THAT hard? Do you see me? I’m more cut up than ever before! I’m working out like an animal, every day, and I’m going to come back better than ever.”
Really, I don’t know. Actually, my brain hurts. But spending this much time pondering trivial matters is what I do.