The Big Ticket
This might sound crazy but it recently occurred to me that we don't appreciate Kevin Garnett like we should here in Boston. You realize that without KG the Celtics would be going on 35 years without a championship? Without Garnett the Celtics would’ve been nothing more than a fringe playoff team the last 14 years, nothing more than what they were from 2001-2006.
When Kevin Garnett got traded here, he changed the culture. From the day he first arrived, it felt different. He was one of those rare alpha athletes that brought not only elite play and talent but also a fierce competitiveness, determination, hard work, dedication. He set the tone here in Boston and created something special that we might never see again.
Kevin Garnett was the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics but he was also their best player. In fact, he was the best player this organization has seen since Larry Bird. His defensive prowess was like nothing I’ve ever seen before and he was no slouch on offense. His mid-range jump shot was a thing of beauty. His ability to put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket was incredible. Best of all, he never let up. He attacked you on both ends of the floor every single night for 48 minutes.
Let’s be real here, Doc Rivers was never going to win a thing without KG, Paul Pierce was never going to win a thing without KG, Ray Allen was never going to win a thing without KG (or Lebron), Danny Ainge the GM was never going to win a thing without KG. Kevin Garnett single-handedly brought banner 17 to the Boston Celtics. Today the term “Bleed Green” seems cliché and corny but it originated from KG and it meant something during his time here. He put his blood, sweat and tears into winning a championship here in Boston. KG himself said it best, it takes grit and balls to win in this league. The Celtics teams before him and unfortunately the Celtics teams after him haven't had either.
A player like KG is exactly what this current Celtics team needs. They have talented players but they lack the heart, the grit, the balls. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are this generations Paul Pierce. Brad Stevens is this generations Doc Rivers and Ainge is Ainge. They're all good to very good but they don't have what it takes to win. Like that team in 2007, they need their KG. Only problem is like Rick Pitino once said about Larry Bird, KG ain't walking through that door. Kevin Garnett will never be duplicated, he was a once in a lifetime athlete that the Boston Celtics where fortunate enough to get their hands on in 2007.
The Celtics plan on retiring KG's number, number 5 at some point this season (or maybe it will pushed off until next season due to covid) and he absolutely deserves it. I don’t think enough people understand how much Kevin Garnett means to the Boston Celtics. I love Paul Pierce and he deserves to be considered a top 5 all time Celtic because of his longevity but Kevin Garnett was more impactful, he was the better player, he was the real leader of the 2007-2013 Celtics and the only reason this organization has a championship since 1986. If you ask me, he is one of the most important Boston Celtics of all time and should be recognized as such.