I'm a little emotionally spent on this whole KG situation. At this point, I have rationalized that it seems like the lesser of many evils for him to wind up in Boston and for the Timberwolves to finally have a watchable team again. The whole thing was just getting too tense and exhausting. We were speaking in coded languages and muffled tones. I've put on a smile in knowing that at very least, all the kind people within a 50 mile radius Target Center can exhale. Let's get back to basics.
See, I was around in the Pooh Richardson days. The Christian Laettner years and the JR Rider era. Back when Doug West was Mr. Timberwolf. Sam Mitchell was Yoda. Those days weren't as dark as they told you about. We had fan favorites like Mike "The Big Brown Bear" Brown. James "Hollywood" Robinson. Myron Brown. Weird proto-Euros like Gundars Vetra, Stojko Vrankovic, and Shane Heal. The novelty of having an actual NBA team in our downtown area never really wore off. And then came KG, and everything changed. The standards got raised too quickly. Stephon Marbury. Joe Smith. Malik Sealy. Sam Cassell's hip. Flip Saunders squandering everything (which is my own trademarked theory that you can read about in practically every post I've ever put on this blog). And now here we are, the most potentially FD team of the new millenium, save for those pesky 2006 Bobcats and Hawks.
I didn't come to talk about the Timberwolves, however. I'm past the point of caring. The only real benefit that I can discern from the KG trade is a crucial step on the path first braved by Gilbert Arenas, and aided by Baron Davis' bullet Fedora. A watershed moment for the League Of Stars onward march. That is: The recognition of pure CELEBRITY on smaller market/non-contending teams. Finally, KG is in the spotlight where he belongs. As much as Denver has diminished AI's profile, the Celtics have boosted KG's X 1000. For this, I can shed a little love on Boston. There are secret stars, roaming the NBA that the average fan never hears about. Throughout the past two years, Gilbert's quirks have opened the door to a virtual Narnia of small-market blazing gold NBA personalities. The world must know the name of these men: the Rashard Lewis's, the Chris Boshes, the Joe Johnsons. These are people of substance. They have important friends and awesome cars. Kevin Garnett is a POWERFUL HUMAN BEING and the world should know him for his George Gervin cool as much as for his Sabonis-meets-Bill-Russell ballskills.
[Photos found via the KFAN.com message board]
And KG isn't even the illest dude in the league, personality-wise. I had to laugh when Simba wrote:
At a post-ESPYS party earlier this month, the sight of KG gliding through the Mondrian's pool bar at 2 a.m. caused even the drunkest people there to do a double-take. Along with Shaq, he's one of the two NBA stars who literally stops any room. I actually remember watching him walk by and thinking, "Wow, we've never had somebody that cool on the Celtics."
Now clearly LeBron, Kobe, or AI hold more star power in terms of "making a room stop." I felt that Simmons was being homerish in giving KG THAT much dap. But that is the entire effect I'm talking about. KG is that dude, and people on ESPN are saying so. Again, a large step for the League of Stars crusade.
So, thank you, Boston for this moment. Let the world gaze upon KG's swag. And let them see the swag of Paul Pierce as well as Ray Allen. This league is bursting with life that has been stowed and shackled behind too much repetitive TNT/ESPN programming. Wade, LeBron, and Melo bore me to tears compared to what we saw from Stephen Jackson last playoffs. Caron Butler could teach the world to sing, yet we are forced to stare at the routine dismantling of foes by the Spurs and Mavericks. And even a Nash-to-Stoudemire ally-oop is mute when compared to so many of these words:
"I'm happy to know that I'm going to be in Minnesota for the rest of my life. That's a good thing. At the end of the day, I'm a Timberwolf. I bleed blue and green. I'm a loyal person, I don't like to change a lot of things. I like things to be simple."
"I'm going to be here until they don't want me anymore. ... I'm 'Sota, man. This is where I live, 365 days -- or in leap year, 366 days -- of the year. I'm here. Life is tough. You can't run from everything."
"I'm Minnesota. The Target Center ... that's the Garnett Center!"
These quotes need to be heard just as much as 'Sheed's guarantees, Shaq's proverbs, and Arenas' quips. The Association is greater than the Association. These individuals are Bird, and Magic, and Michael, and Isiah, and Hakeem reimagined. KG may still never see another second round playoff series in his life, but at least he will have continued to blaze that trail to allow other stars of the future in crappy situations and in cold small towns get known by NBA enthusiasts all over the globe.