Intensity, Heart and Fire. These are all words that if you looked up in a dictionary you’d find a picture of Kevin Garnett’s screaming face right next to. Since he first donned a Boston jersey Garnett has been the undeniable driving force behind the Boston Celtics. Whether it’s blowing up a pick & roll, calling out defensive rotations or locking down the team’s opposing big in the post Garnett has been the epitome of Celtic Pride.
Since 2007, it’s been highly apparent that Garnett has been their most reliable and unflappable player. His attention to detail on the defensive end is what has made this team over the years so great on defensive end. The communication that he provides is invaluable and is apparent when he sits. According to 82games.com since 2007 the defense had never allowed 100 points over a 48 minute basis with KG on the floor(with the exception of 2009-10 and this season). Since then the Celtics’ defense has fallen off by an average 5.5 points when he sits. KG’s presence as a Celtics has also been pivotal in mentoring young, up and coming guys like Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Jared Sullinger which is a testament to the immense leadership he brings to the table.
Coming in to this year many people wondered whether or not KG would retire or come back as a Celtic. If he had retired this past summer I wouldn’t have blamed him. The man has poured his heart and soul into this game for 17 years and it would have been completely reasonable for him to hang it up this summer.
Lately though the prospect of Garnett retiring has become all too real. With the Celtics spiraling towards a rebuild, it seems unfair to make him endure such a long and arduous process. His name has been unfairly floated around in trade rumors. But KG has made it clear that he wants to remain a Celtic. “I bleed green, I’ll die green.” KG said in response to the trade rumors.
Garnett isn’t the same dominant post threat he was in 08, but every once in awhile he’ll amaze you with his shimmy turnaround jumper. He lingers around perimeter a little more than I would like but his mid-range game is still as good as ever. There will be nights where he doesn’t have quite the right lift in his jumper but that just comes with the territory of being a 17 year vet. There will also be nights where like last night against the Raptors when he has a signature flashback game. Whether KG hangs it up this year or he rides out his contract we should all appreciate the fact we saw one of the greats go out as a Celtic.