MVP/Bully/NBA Champion/Ray Allen hater/High School Legend/Gold Medalist/Almost Laker in 2007/Soccer team owner/loved by many and hated by just as many future hall of famer Kevin Garnett turns 40 today and unfortunately is spending his birthday watching the playoffs just like you and me instead of competing for another ring and putting up gaudy numbers like he did 12 years ago today, when he put up 32 points, 21 rebounds, 5 blocks and 4 steals against Chris Webber and the Kings in the final game of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals –
Even though it’s been a decade since that game, it still feels like yesterday to me. Then again, so does his rookie year, which was over 2 decades ago! Yes, it’s been 2 decades since that skinny NBA rookie, straight outta high school, in his first week on the job, got dunked on by Cedric Ceballos and then had to listen to the Laker shout “he’s not ready!”
Like many critics back then, I had my doubts if KG would be able to do well in the pros – despite seeing him average a near quadruple double in high school. But KG proved all of us wrong. He became a perennial All-Star, racked up tons of accolades, stats and eventually joined the KKK! KKK as in only he, Kareem and Karl Malone have 25k points, 14k rebounds, 5k assists 1.5k steals and 1.5k blocks.
If you played fantasy basketball between 2000-2006 then you really have an appreciatioin for the numbers KG was putting up and if you had him on your team you probably won in your league. On any given night, KG would easily make up for 2 scrubs on your team with apples like these.
- 2/16/03: 37 pts 22 rebs 6 ast
- 1/4/05: 47 pts 17 rebs 4 ast, 3 stls
- 12/5/03: 33 pts 25 rebs 6 ast 3 blks
- 12/10/04: 35 pts 18 rebs 9 ast 4 stl
- 12/27/99: 26 pts 23 rebs 7 ast 4 blks
- 11/19/02: 34 pts 22 rebs 6ast
- 1/12/05: 19 pts 25 rebs 8 ast
Simply put, KG was good. Real good…and he knew it.
- NBA Champion: 2008
- Olympic gold medal: 2000
- NBA Most Valuable Player: 2004
- NBA Defensive Player of the Year: 2008
- NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2003
- 15-time NBA All-Star: 1997—2013
- Selected to 14 consecutive All-Star teams (1997-2011) (no game in 1999 due to lockout).
- Selected, but did not play due to injury in 2008.
- 9-time All-NBA selection:
- First Team: 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008
- Second Team: 2001, 2002, 2005
- Third Team: 1999, 2007
- 11-time All-Defensive:
- First Team: 2000—2005, 2008—2009, 2011
- Second Team: 2006, 2007
- NBA All-Rookie selection:
- Second team: 1996
- J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award: 2006