We all have seen those excellent "The More You Know" PSAs on NBC. Celebrities offer parents helpful suggestions on how to raise their kids, which often includes reading to them. I have a feeling Kevin Garnett's mother may have taken that message to the extreme.
Most people have blamed Boston's poor bench play for its recent skid that has seen the champs lose seven of their last nine games. It's true the bench hasn't played well lately but the blame should not be sitting on the bench with Eddie House and Glenn Davis. All of the blame...yes, I mean ALL of the blame, should be on Kevin Garnett.
Garnett seems to have read literature on King Louis XIV, Alexander the Great, Czar Nicholas II or maybe just Dictators for Dummies. Either way, Garnett has used the Celtics as his grand stage for better and for worse.
KG is often praised for his dedication, tenacity, leadership and passion for the game. There was even a nice piece about him on ESPN a while back about how no one in the NBA works harder than the former NBA MVP. Garnett may have fooled some people into believing that, but his passion to be the team and flair for theatrics is what drives him.
Let's look at some moments where Garnett clearly does not care about basketball as much as he cares about himself.
He also is one of the league leaders in technical fouls and often refers to "War," "Empire" and "loading our oozies" when giving interviews. So since Garnett wants to be the king of his crusade on the court, then I will treat him as one and hold him to that level of accountability.
Kevin Garnett has been the show ever since arriving in Boston, for better and for worse. When the Celtics won the championship last season, he deserved the credit that was bestowed on him because he ignited the team with an energy and confidence it lacked in the past.
But the journey he took the Celtics on wore the team down. The Celtics played as hard as they could every night and were pushed to the limit by the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs before battling the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now Garnett wants to push the Celtics at the same pace. Winning the Eastern Conference isn't good enough for KG, he wants to win every game every night. While that should be the goal for every player, KG takes it to the extreme by taking his frustrations out on his own team when a loss comes around. It's not good when a player can't handle losing in a league that guarantees even the best teams will come up short 15 times.
The constant criticism of his team, especially the bench players and young rookies, doesn't show much leadership or accountability. He even made Glenn "Big Baby" Davis cry during a game for the tounge lashing he unleashed on him during a timeout. (I know, it's ironic).
If the Celtics want to repeat as champions, Garnett will need to take a lesson from Kobe Bryant and learn to pace the team. When the Lakers lose, Bryant doesn't go into panic mode, he works with his team to fix the problem and gets them back on track. He knows when to push hard and he knows when to ease up. It's an 82-game season and it seems like another 82 for the playoffs, so keeping enough gas in the tank is key.
Garnett is a great player, there is no doubting that, but he needs to step off the theater he has turned the basketball court into and focus on more than his legacy.
Sometimes silence is golden, and for Garnett, that time is now. If he leads by example with his work ethic and jumpshots, that second ring will be a lot closer.