If they listen, Kevin Garnett will teach them. If they cease to listen, he will treat them as if they’re wearing human repellent and an invisibility cloak (or — Big Daddy reference alert — Julian’s invisibility sunglasses).
So far, so good for the two young big men Garnett has been charged with mentoring. Just a week into training camp, Garnett likes Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo and believes they are hungry to improve — a lot like Glen Davis was when he arrived in Boston.*
“Jared and Melo are very attentive kids, they listen. This is very similar to Baby, very similar to Leon, (Kendrick Perkins). Eager to learn, like normal young guys,” said Garnett. “They are very eager. I’ve been blessed since I’ve been here to be able to give some of the knowledge I have to the young guys I played with.
“These two are no different,” he said. “They work very, very hard, they’re very competitive. Naturally they’re very good, and obviously they come from strong programs in college. Right now they’re kind of tentative but they want to get better, and that’s what you want in young guys.”
Garnett did not comment on The Executioner’s willingness to learn, but The Executioner said he’d like to learn and is excited to be part of a championship-caliber team for the first time since his early days with the Detroit Pistons. He also has a very mature (and spot-on) way of dealing with Garnett’s sometimes-harsh lessons.
“He is 150 percent into every practice,” said Milicic. “He addresses something if it doesn’t work. He is trying to get everyone on the same page, because he knows when the season starts that everyone has to be on the same page. We start the practice and he talks about it. If he sees something that needs fixing, he fixes the problem. He’s trying to teach everyone, and everybody takes the compliments and everything else. You have to take it like a man. He’s not talking to you and yelling because he hates you. He’s trying to make you better. He’s trying to make you learn something because a lot of guys here are new guys who are trying to learn.”
KG is a hero and everybody’s listening to him. So far, so good.
*Glen Davis, hungry to improve. I hope you guys understood what I did there.