August 7, 2016

IN ONE VITAL SENSE KG WAS MJ...:

The Confounding Futurism of Kevin Garnett : The Big Ticket's next season may be in doubt, but his impact on the league has never been clearer (Jonathan Tjarks, 8/01/16, The Ringer)

The great big men of the NBA's last era are slipping away. Tim Duncan and Amar'e Stoudemire have retired this summer and Kevin Garnett could be next. The Timberwolves are patiently waiting on Garnett, who has spent the past few weeks mulling over a possible return for one final season. It would be his 22nd in the league, giving him more active seasons than Robert Parish or Kevin Willis -- he would effectively be the longest-tenured player in NBA history. Like Duncan, Garnett is a bridge between generations, a walking link connecting the past and the future. He played with Terry Porter and Spud Webb in his rookie season, and Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins in what might be his last. Porter and Webb are 53. Towns and Wiggins will both be 21 at the All-Star break of the upcoming season.

Garnett was one of a kind: a modern pivot sent back in time to the mid-'90s. When he entered the league, most 7-footers were stuck under the basket after a long stint in college learning to play in the post. Garnett didn't have time for any of that, becoming the first player to declare for the draft out of high school in 20 years. Few had seen a big man who could slide his feet like Garnett 25-plus feet from the basket, and he's one of the only players in league history who could guard all five positions. If there's anything to regret with how Garnett's career has played out, it's that he was so far ahead of his time the league didn't know how to fully utilize him.

...only Michael was his peer in forcing, by the sheer exercise of will, teammates to play defense.

Posted by at August 7, 2016 12:33 PM

  

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