March 19, 2008
I really don't know where to go with this post.
I mean, I know the point of it, but ripping on Glen Taylor's comments about "KG tanking it" move beyond "shooting fish in a barrel"-territory. I feel like I'm about to write a post about how the Sun is pretty necessary, or why striking a puppy isn't good for anyone.
I could go all big picture with it, and point out how Glen Taylor wasted the prime of one of the best players in NBA history, tested the faith of one of the more frustratingly-loyal players in modern sports history, and essentially questioned the competitive integrity of one of someone who has been charged with being too damned competitive, and too full of integrity for his own individual good.
Or, I could go small picture, and point out what I remember: Garnett obviously working through a quad injury in the last two weeks of the 2006-07 season before shutting it down, how it was easy to see how such an injury led to his 37 percent shooting in his last five games as a member of the Timberwolves, even though it couldn't stop him from averaging 17.2 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 4.4 assists.
Maybe I could point out that it was Joe Smith's contract debacle, and the needless batch of paperwork (what idiot writes this stuff down? This idiot writes this stuff down), that hamstrung Minnesota's chances at a title more than Garnett's contract situation. The Spurs also tended to pay Tim Duncan quite a bit of money over his prime, and it hasn't stopped San Antonio from being in the title hunt every year.
I could wonder aloud as to just why in the hell the
Timberwolves would think that a .500 record with this pathetic
roster would smack of underachievement, and what could possibly lead them
to believe that firing coach Dwane Casey with the team running with a 20-20
would be a good idea.
I could point out that Casey's replacement, Randy Wittman, went 12-30 to finish the season.
I could ask about Kevin McHale's fascination with shooting guards in a point guard's body, and why he decided to trade for, draft, or sign Rashad McCants, Marko Jaric, Randy Foye, and Mike James all in a 14-month span.
I could ask what everyone thought of Garnett - obviously in need of a few weeks' rest - dragging his left leg around during the dregs of Minnesota's 2004-05 season, while still playing 82 games and leading the NBA in PER.
I could ask anyone who would listen why Taylor passed on calling out Marko Jaric for sitting out the final four games of the season last year. Or, at the very least, for not adhering to a consistent shaving pattern.
I could ask the Timberwolves what, exactly, they saw in a 28 year-old Michael Olowokandi in 2003? What about this guy screamed "POTENTIAL!" to Mr. McHale?
I could ask McHale if he ever thought Ndudi Ebi could come close to approximating what Josh Howard did in four years at Wake Forest.
I could ask him if he ever took the time to wonder just how good Elden Campbell and Eddie Jones would look in a Timberwolves uniform in 1999, instead of just freaking out at how cut Tom Gugliotta would look in a Lakers uniform.
I could ask Mr. Taylor if he knows what it's like to be worn down. If he knows what it's like to share a huddle with Ricky Davis, or if he knows what it's like to have to cover defensively for a steaming pile of "don't care," also known as a "Mark Blount."
I could ask him why he feels a need to hang on like this. I could point out that McHale made the best trade possible in this instance - picking up cap relief and a 23 year-old stud who is already averaging 21 and 11 per game. I could point out that the KG trade was the best possible move for both sides; it didn't net the Wolves Tyson Chandler, Luol Deng, and a chance at Brandon Roy, but considering the context of the summer of 2007, it was a blockbuster for the Timberwolves, too.
I could wonder about the sort of underlying and unspoken feelings that tend to result in an inappropriate, unsolicited, and downright stupid slam at the best thing that has ever happened to Glen Taylor's franchise.
I could form the post around what I know to be true, more than just about anything I've ever known about the game that I love: that a couple times a week, I am beside myself with glee at the prospect of getting to watch Kevin Garnett play basketball, and that I am incredibly lucky to be alive and aware during his time on Earth.
I could then ask Glen Taylor how it felt to be the biggest tool in the NBA at this point. Pre-contrived apology, of course.
I don't know about this post. I have to get something up by 2:30, but I think I might just tank it and go watch last night's game again. KG was pretty good in that one.