May 13, 2010
During last season's playoffs, public sentiment toward Kevin Garnett(notes) turned from "Wow, he's intense" to "wow, he needs to relax." That's one of the side effects of yelling at opposing players from the comfort of the bench. While Garnett's carnival barker antics have been around since his Minnesota days — and continued this season — they really came to a head this time last year.
If you're either a Boston fan or a Garnett apologist you chalked Garnett's face shouts up to him wanting to win and wanting to help the Celtics win. It makes sense — he's the emotional leader of the team so he should be emotionally leading the team to victory, regardless of whether or not his leg still works. However, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said it wasn't that helpful.
"Everybody was making a big deal about him being on the bench, but nobody listens to a player that's not dressed," Doc Rivers said. "They just don't. I don't care how good they are, because you're not out there with them and they know that. So obviously his impact is better because he's in the uniform."
So you're telling me that all that yelling and posturing was all for naught? Super cool. Kevin Garnett spent 14 playoff games screaming and acting like a jerk for no reason other than it amused him. Sounds about right.
I guess that explains why the Celtics have looked so good this postseason. It's not because they're healthy or peaking at the right time, and it's not even because Rajon Rondo(notes) is playing out of his mind; no, it's because now that Kevin Garnett isn't rocking a $3,000 suit they'll listen to the ranting and raving of a crazy man. Playoff basketball is a strange thing.