Photo: Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett talks with Chris Wilcox during the fourth quarter of their 107-96 win over the Washington Wizards in an NBA basketball game in Boston, Sunday, April 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
There are trends that constitute what is cool or not, be it in fashion, music, movie or even sports.
But there are revolutionary trends that spawn an entire movement and in the NBA one trailblazer of his generation is Boston Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett.
In 1995, KG did the unthinkable and declared his availability for the NBA Draft that year, despite only graduating from High School, soon after the floodgates have opened.
HS luminaries such as Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Jermaine O’Neal, Lebron James and Dwight Howard followed suit and the trend only ended when a new rule required applicants to attend at least one year of college ball before entering the Draft.
After 18 years in the league the man formerly known as ‘The Kid’ to ‘The Franchise’ and finally ‘The Big Ticket’ is still playing an important role for his team and battling father time as well as anyone could.
More than his stats, KG brings leadership and his presence alone lifts the entire morale of the Celtics. The plus-minus stat is spectacular especially because of what he provides as the heart and anchor of their defense.
The 14.8 points 7.8 rebounds 2.3assists 1.2 steals and 0.9 blocks he averaged this year is nothing to scoff at especially with him playing in less than 30 minutes per game this season.
But what makes KG pretty special and cool are his belief, self confidence and unrelenting attitude of staying true to himself.
Watch a Celtics game and try to read his lips before, during and after a game. You’ll likely observe profane words non-stop whether directed to himself every time he does something wrong, to his teammates for encouragement or to his opponents who he breaks mentally with trash talk.
In recent years he has been branded as a villain due to his legendary disrespectful trash talk against opposing players. There are issues regarding insults to Charlie Villanueva of the Detroit Pistons with his disease or the recent supposedly tirade against the wife of Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony.
Despite all the hate and negative publicity, KG has never changed his character or style of play. The Big Ticket is known for his intense demeanor and fierce competitive fire against all odds.
At 36 years old, Garnett turned back the clock in last year’s playoffs with his impressive play, taking the Celtics to a seventh game in the Eastern Conference Finals against eventual NBA champions Miami Heat.
It would seem like KG is oblivious to what the public, fans and media think of him. Unknown to many though is that he use those criticisms to his advantage for added motivation.
In a game five against the Miami Heat last year, KG was interviewed on national television after the game and addressed critics that he is already too old to still make a realistic impact in the Playoffs.
Garnett stringed together a classic performance, he scored 26 points and grabbed 11 boards while adding 2 blocks for a big win.
Here was his answer:
“All the naysayers, saying a 36, 35 year old can’t do what I do; I take lot of pride in my craft, I work really hard on my craft everyday and I’m a true professional.” said Garnett addressing all the critics regarding his age and supposedly decline in his level of play.
Confidence, arrogance, pride, assurance; whatever you want to call it, KG will never back down from anyone.
Yes, Kevin Garnett is not perfect or the role model that we may want him to be. But we certainly admire his ability to stay true to himself even though he was thrust into harsh scrutiny at a tender age, he never changed himself to whatever the media or public wanted him to be.
So despite all the negative publicity he’s been getting, kudos to KG for being a great person to look up to when all things are considered. It’s not about being cool or trendy it’s about finding your own niche, staying true and believing in yourself.
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