Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I know I have already spent a lot of this space talking about Kevin Garnett. I can also say, without a trace of sarcasm, I will spend a lot more of this space talking about Kevin Garnett. Today will be part of the latter category.
I have been back and forth on whether or not KG should leave Minnesota. Basically, the argument boils down to this: The Timberwolves have not done much to realistically build a championship team, and Garnett is a championship caliber player. Therefore, he deserves to be on a championship team.
As a fan that makes sense. We like the guy, and we want to see him succeed. And, since he cannot succeed with us, we just want to see him happy. We are the bad girlfriend, and he is the nice guy. If y ou like watching his game, than naturally you want to see his game flourish in a winning environment.
But as a realist, and a fan of sports in general, that argument doesn't hold any weight. It was the argument I held true until reading this article
in the Philly Inquirer.
"...every week, some writer or blogger bleats about Garnett's plight and tries to figure out some way to team him up with Kobe Bryant, or the Bulls, or the Clippers, because he "deserves" a chance at a championship.
Nobody's promised anything in life, or in sports.
Don't you think Ernie Banks wanted to play in just one World Series?
What would Sonny Jurgensen have done to suit up in a Super Bowl?
Garnett doesn't deserve a Finals berth any more than Mark Price's Cavaliers did, or Reggie Miller's Pacers, or Chris Webber's Kings. You go out, you take your shot, you see what happens. Price got taken out by Michael Jordan; Miller got taken out by... Michael Jordan, and Webber got taken out by some ridiculous officiating in Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals.
And still my heart said, "This guy DESERVES a championship." For the reasons David Aldridge enumerates in the article: KG is a future hall of famer, a pillar of the community, a hard worker, and a superstar.
SO WHAT. I get it now. I wrote Aldridge an email saying the above, and he wrote back, in part, this "I just disagree that anybody that we like should automatically get a chance at a championship. Titles are earned, not bestowed."Titles are earned, not bestowed
That's it, in a nutshell. Garnett hasn't had a bad life, or even a bad career. He's not the first all star to not go all the way, and he won't be the last. Sports moments don't always happen to the people who "deserve" it, and life is not always "fair" in that storybook sort of way.
And the reality is, as DA points out, "one could argue that KG, if such a great player, should have been able to do more with the (admittedly paltry) supporting cast he's had over the years."
People can talk about parity in the league, and how hard it is for any one player to win, and the recent formula of superstar guard and superstar post player winning it all, but the bottom line is it's all bullshit. KG is
good enough to get over the hump by himself, and he shows that all the time. He just hasn't done it in the big game, yet.
And that's not even a knock against KG. Barkely never won it all, and he is a hall of famer. T-Mac is a post season loser, but there are 20 or so GMs who would take him in a second.
The bigger picture might be that Kevin Garnett is better off in Minnesota. There is no guarantee that a move will net a ring. Plenty of players move around in hope of finding a contender, just to be watching the big game at home. KG would have to take quite a pay cut to play for a team with another superstar. And what then? They lose AND he gets paid less?
Better for him to bide his time, and hope for the right moves to be made, just like every other player on every other team that didn't win last year does.
And better for us to just sit back, shut up, and enjoy watching one of basketball's best.