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Tuesday, May 8, 2012
With the NBA Playoffs going on right now, its basically all or nothing. I wanted to stay away from focusing on another NBA player this week, but I just couldnt do it. Athletes love playing on winning teams, but something thats better than just a winning team is having a player on your team that has so much passion for the game and will do anything just to win. The guy I chose for this weeks issue is none other than "The Big Ticket" Kevin Garnett.
Kevin Garnett...KG...Big Ticket, no matter what you call him, this guy is just a flat out winner. KG fell in love with the game of basketball when he was in middle school (Hillcrest Middle School Mauldin, South Carolina). Kev didn't play organized basketball until he got to high school. He played 3 seasons at Mauldin High School before transfering to Farragut Academy in Chicago, Illinois. He led Farragut to a 28–2 record and was named National High School Player of the Year by USA Today. He was also named Mr. Basketball for the state of Illinois after averaging 25.2 points, 17.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 6.5 blocks while shooting 66.8% from the field. In four years of high school, Garnett posted an impressive 2,553 points, 1,809 rebounds and 737 blocked shots. He was named the most ouststanding player at the McDonald's All American game after dropping 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocked shots, and then declared himself eligible for the 1995 NBA Draft. With the 5ht pick in the NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Kevin Garnett. In his rookie year, KG averaged 10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game and was voted into the All Rookie Second Team. At that time, Garnett was the youngest player in NBA history. In his second season in the league, KG's stats sky rocketed. He averaged 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2.1 blocks per game. Garnett would only get better in his tenure in Minnesota. He led the T'Wolves to the playoffs 8 years in a row. But, the ultimate goal is to win a championship and he fell short.
Before the 2007 NBA season began, KG was traded to the Boston Celtics. He would be joined by Ray Allen. During that same season, he would help the Boston Celtics win the NBA Championship. This was the 17th title in team history and during that championship season, Garnett and Celtics legend Bill Russell had a conversation together which was captured on television. You could see the determination in his eyes from the moment he got to Boston. During the post game celebration of winning the championship, Kevin Garnett was asked by Scoop Jackson (ESPN The Magazine), how it felt to let this out (winning an NBA Title). KG being who he is gave this answer:
"You ever go to school, and you have that bully mess with you everyday...its like that bully that you go to school everyday and you know..you get out your moms or dad car and you know you gotta see him soon as you walk through the front doors. You know he sitting there with his feet up waiting on you to pat your pockets, mess wit you. Then it's like one day you say to yourself, you know what this gon stop today...and you walk through, and as soon as he pats ya pockets and you knock his ass out, and you see the expression on his face. And you sort of kinda shook, cause you know what...you just knocked the bully out and you dont know how he gon come back. So the next morning when you come in, and he not there its like a sigh of relief...you know its like getting rid of the bully. I knocked the bully ass out...I knocked his ass clean out."
In Kevin Garnett's 17 years in the NBA, he has always been the same firey competitor. From the pounding on the chest, to talking to himself during games, and even banging his head against the basketball post before games. Thats just the type of player he is...always intense and just wants to win. Whenever KG decides to retire from the league, im sure he will be a first ballot hall of famer. Here are his accomplishments through out The Big Ticket's career: