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Friday, July 22nd, 2011 at 10:30 am  |  58 responses

For Old Time’s Sake: Kevin Garnett

The Big Ticket

KG was drafted 5th overall by the Timberwolves in ’95 after averaging 25.2 points, 17.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 6.5 blocks his senior year in HS. It was the first time a player had been taken straight out of high school in 20 years. He transitioned to the NBA style of play fairly quickly and became the go-to guy in Minnesota. You could make the argument that it was his NBA success followed by Kobe’s that opened the floodgates in regards to HS phenoms trying to make the jump straight to the League. Aside from that, KG has been an absolute beast in the NBA for over 15 years. He won a Chip with the Celtics in ’08, was the MVP in ’04, is a 14x All Star and arguably the greatest PF/C of all time. He’s posted career averages of 19.5 pts, 10.7 rbs, 4.1 asts, 1.6 blks, and 1.6 stls while also shooting just under 50% from the field. I think he’s got one of the wettest Js ever for a guy his size, pretty much impossible to block. KG probably has a year or two left in the tank and has been a great ambassador for the league during his Hall of Fame career. Dude is a monster on the court with a warrior’s mentality….and he has a real shiny head. RESPECT.

@Schneezy

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  • http://slamonline.com SpaceJam

    First!! Dude Was absolutely ridiculous in his minny days. His MVP season was completely amazing. 24.2 points, 13.9 rebounds, 5 assist 2.2 blocks and 1.5 steals. Dude was freakin amazing. Had a motor unlike anyone else. He is arguably the greatest power forward of all-time

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Sota KG was by far my fav player and it’s a shame that the wolves wasted one of the great prime years of any player in history. Also, as much as I love KG, dude is not the greatest PF/C of all-time, TD is and it’s not arguable.

  • http://slamonline.com Saviour

    I co-sign TD comment, take away KGs hype and TD is much better.

  • cramzy

    I agree Timmy’s the best..BUT….come on, if KG had Tim’s cast/coach/organization, he’d have a lot more hardware, and the conversation would be different. But you know, if if was a fif

  • http://www.slamonline.com big_ticket

    kg is the best,kg only had sam cassel and sprewell in their 30+,but TD has david,tony,manu at the peak of their career

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lights out

    i’d agree that Timmy would come out ahead, but i think it’s still a discussion worth having. damn, KG’s prime stats are unreal. 5 straight years of at least 21, 11, and 6. jesus.

  • add

    if marbury stayed with the t-wolves they could have gotten way further than they ended up going in the playoffs

  • RSMills5

    I can’t argue that TD isn’t a great player, one of the best ever. BUT KG, along with Webber changed the power forward game! Webb was the first to grab the board and lead the break from the 4 position, and could pass like a guard. KG was the first to really play a great face up game from the 4. He would face up, and could put the ball on the floor and beat you. His fade away is UNSTOPPABLE!!! Falls behind only Rasheed’s from the low post. He is also a helluva mid range shooter, one of the best from the 4/5 position. You can say Duncan is better, but I think you put KG on those SA teams, and they win, and win big! He’s a better help side defender, and a better shooter than TD. If Minnesota would’ve traded him sooner, he probably would have a few more rings.. But oh well… At any rate, you can’t deny KG’s passion, his EXCELLENT D, and his desire to win! Say what you want, but to me he’s the best 4 of all time…

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    I think Marbury needs to take some blame in the TD vs KG conversation. It really does come down to the organization, the turnaround that they both had on their teams was insane. It’s kinda chose your poison and everyone rides TD’s dick now.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    This is a conversation where people get swayed by rings and team success. Head to head you cannot say TD is clearly the better player. KGs 20, 10 and 5 streak was unbelievable. He probably should have been MVP back to back, the year he won it and the year before. Bottom line is, Minny was just a horrible situation for him. If they switched teams, KG would have won just as much as Duncan, if not more. Imagine a coach like Pop coaching KG and really pushing him to be a bit more selfish on the offensive end. It would have been crazy. I’m sure if their roles were reversed people would say that KG is clearly the better of the two.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    And they are kinda hard to compare because while they’re both power forwards, they played completely different styles of basketball. FWIW, I think they are 1a and 1b, out of players I actually got to watch play. No one bring up Joe Schmoe from 1975. lol.

  • Riggs

    that video is a big FU to everyone who has ever said that KG changed after he won a chip. No he hasn’t idiots.

  • THE IRON LUNG

    People kill me with the kg had no help thing. He had some good teams in sota.timmy played with robinson for two years while he was good, and tony and manu are good because of timmy. Kg played with spreewell, terrell brandon, sam cassell,wally when he was putting up 19 a game, marbury, gugliotta when he was putting up 20 a game plus good role players. so they had good teams, and some seasons they had a better record than the spurs. Just face it KG couldnt win the big one until he went to a stacked team. I love him but its the truth. and duncan use to abuse him.

  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    I loved KG’s MVP season in 03-04, dude was balling every night like his life was on the line.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @ Iron Lung – Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are good because of Tim Duncan?
    Manu was already a legend overseas! I don’t buy it.The Sota teams cannot compare to those Spurs teams talent-wise. And the coaching was much better on the SA side.
    KG was my favorite player for a while too. Man, I remember the year he put up 23, 13 and 6. Crazy numbers for a power forward. Him and Larry Bird are the only forwards to average at least 20, 10 and 5 for six straight seasons.
    And Duncan didn’t abuse KG, they went back and forth. Some nights they’d battle to a standstill, other times one would get the better of the other.
    But it wasn’t like Dream vs. Ewing back in the days when Hakeem would make dudes wonder why Ewing was even being put in the same level as him.
    Oh, and I love what he did for all the high school kids wanting to go pro, but as a Blue Demons fan I wish he would’ve gone and played at least one season at DePaul :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Greatest Power Forward of all-time to me. Either him or Barkley.

  • HAMMER

    KG really had no help. The only season where he legitamatly had a chance @ the title was ’03-04. That was it. And how u gonna compare a supportin cast of Marbury and Googs to Manu, Tony, Robinson, Horry, Johnson etc..,? There is no comparison whatsoever. Wolves org did not do enuff 4 KG and that’s a well known fact. And that dunk KG had against the Rockets is my fav KG dunk. Just sick!

  • Heals

    Whoa, SLAM you already goin “for old times sake” on KG.” Ouch, give my man a couple more years now. Sheed, Barros, Mercer and now KG; lovin the green theme though. Alright, just make Sam Cassell next and we’re decent starting 5…

  • http://slamonline.com AllDayEveryDay

    My best all-time team

    5- The Dream
    4- The Big Ticket
    3- No Tippin Pippen
    2- His Airness
    1- Mr Short Shorts

  • http://slamonline.com AllDayEveryDay

    My best defensive team of all time

    5- The Dream
    4- The Big Ticket
    3- No Tippin Pippen
    2- The GOAT
    1- The Glove

  • HAMMER

    That’s a good list AllDayEveryDay. Altho, n my opinion, I would take KG off and insert Russell.

  • HAMMER

    Ok. I saw what u did. My bad. @ Center I would put Russell and @ PF I would have “The Worm”. Every1 else I agree w/u.

  • http://slamonline.com Mars

    woo seriously TD vs KG? two totally diff players. pay homage to the history. @ PF there are at least 10 players of KD and TD caliber. Chips don’t define careers anymore.

  • http://www.Slamonline.com Slick Ric

    KG used to be my favorite player as well, when he was with the timberwolves.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Man, I remember when KG used to go first in fantasy basketball…

  • bike

    Who was the greatest competitor in the NBA of all time?

  • http://slamonline.com GotHandles?

    George Muresan

  • THE IRON LUNG

    Joe Wolf

  • HAMMER

    That “Joe Wolf” comment was me. I aplogize, on behalf of SLAM, 2 u The Iron Lung. My bad. SLAM needs, once again, 2 fix that sh!t.

  • Tom

    I think Dirk deserves to be mentioned in the same line as KG and TD now. Dude can’t hang with them defensively, but offensively he is beyond both.

  • RunNGun

    If Marbury wasn’t such a dumbass, MIN would have been great.

  • Jer dawg

    Props to KG. Always tries to play hard and the right way,not only did he produce he always has passion and whatever else is his thing. Gifted player. All time top 20? If he had Duncan’s 4 rings he’d be higher.

  • http://slamonline.com GotHandles?

    except when he’s punching dudes (Channing Frye) in the nuts while they are taking jumpers or swingin those pointy BOs in the paint.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    That black Sota jersey is just sick.

  • http://slamonline.com AllDayEveryDay

    Best PF of all time in terms of versatility, and IMO best PF of all time period. Had a deadly jump shot, had a nice post game, one of the best big man passers ever (6 asts a game, multiple times, WTF), one of the best defenders of all time, can guard the 3,4,5 positions, was a good weakside help defender too, and was unselfish.

    Dirk may be in the conversation of best PF’s ever, only because he surpasses everyone with his otherworldly scoring ability, but dude needs to dominate on the glass and defense to be taken seriously in the GPFOAT discussion

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @AllDayEveryDay – agree with a lot of what you said, I think Karl Malone is the best PF of all time, but Garnett only averaged 6 assists a game once in his career.

  • DeeDaw

    He was one of my faves growing up while he was in Minny.

    Seriously, what a waste of talent and years spent in Minny.

    When you think of all that time he wasted there, it makes LeBron’s decision to go to Miami with Wade/Bosh seem more rational/logical than anything else/

  • Reidz

    Probably tops my most wasted talent list together with Lebron during the Cleveland years. (Even though Dwight is quickly getting up there as well). He was just one of the most amazing all round talents the game has seen. Loved him during the Minny days

  • OneStep

    Oh good I get to see KG make his post-up travel moves over and over again to music. The guy annoys the hell out of me. He’s good, but so damned unlikeable.

  • http://slamonline.com Petros Stavrakis

    KG is one of the best big man and player ever…..

  • haslem

    I hate all the revisionism that goes on. When Timmy won a title in 2003 against the Nets (also getting past the Shaq/Kobe Lakers in the second round) he won it with David Robinson’s corpse, (averaging 8 points a game for the season) Manu was a rookie (averaging 7 points a game for the season) and Tony Parker was in his second year having a minor breakout season especially for a late first round pick but far removed from the all star level he would attain later on (15 points a game). You call that a stacked team? KG is great, but dismissing Timmy’s achievements as being chalked up to his roster is akin to blasphemy. After all the guy averaged 24 points, 17 rebounds, 5 blocks, 5 assists in that finals series and put up a near quadruple double in the pivotal game 6, (21 point, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, 8 blocked shots). I don’t think KG was ever that clutch and if you would have switched the two players that spurs team would have gone out in the first or second round.

  • bigsp

    i agree with what alot of you are saying about greatest pf of all time but what bout malone. averages of 25 and 10 and 2nd all time in scoring ( even tho the points could be a bit inflated bc of stockton)

  • logues

    for the ppl who think kg had plenty of help in minny, please shut up. wally fricken zerbiack(i know thats way wrong) was the best second player he ever had. think about that for a second. wally. and when he had sam and spree both were getting old and and well out of their prime. im from sota and watched twolves games ALL THE TIME, and kg was the whole team. i mean, he led the team in points, rebounds, steals, assists, blocks, minutes. timmy had one of the best centers of all time, along with two of the best european players ever!

  • Ryan

    Imagine Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett lining up side by side…

  • Allenp

    Duncan was more of an offensive force. Everything else is equal. Duncan wins by a hair.

  • Allenp

    Agree with Harlem and that is despite the fact that KG is my third favorite player of all time.

  • Tony

    All time fav, man crush

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  • max

    KG was great but hands down Tim Duncan is the best Power Forward of All Time.The hardware,intangibles,stats,Offense/Defense,clutch,never lost in the finals.Karl Malone second,third is up between KG,McHale,Charles and Dirk I guess.

  • washtub

    agree with haslem and allenp. the delusion most slamonline posters have for slam poster boys (KG, AI) is sometimes wack beyond words.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Duncan > Malone > Barkley > KG in my opinion…the 3 after Duncan are almost interchangeable though… Duncan really had it all though. Offensively, Defensivley, and intangibles were all there for him. 4 rings help his argument too.

  • DukeFromDeep

    KG is an old fav of mine too.In my opinion KG is def there with Malone, TD, Barkley as one of the greatest 4′s ever.And possibly the best defencive 4 ever.

  • http://Slamonline.com CatKiller

    Don’t care y’all say KG could in his prime run circles around Duncan in his prime. Nobody got that drive to win and it shows in games. Even if he only scores 5 points and grabs 6 rebounds he finds ways to make his team win. Duncan has nothing on KG when it comes to intangibles like his leadership and motivation

  • Darren

    Just one question: How does Duncan win that many titles if he doesn’t have a drive to win? He’s the best PF ever, hands down. KG is ahead of Malone because he is better in the clutch.

  • vtrobot
  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Duncan has always been the leader of his team. He has never not been a leader. He was all-defense for a decade straight!
    I love KG, but he’s just more vocal and demonstrative. Duncan leads quietly, kind of like Hakeem used to do back in the day. Everybody knows what’s up with him night in and night out. I’d love to play with both guys if I was a player because both of them are great leaders, just with different styles.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    But, to be clear, I LOVE KG AS A PLAYER.
    Dude is awesome. I think he’s better than Barkley, to be honest. And it’s questionable about Malone. He’s number three on my power forward list at the lowest, and possibly number 2.

  • maverick

    People kill me with this KG had just as much help as TD thing. Sure KG played with two all-stars spree and cassell….for two years. And the second one was totally wasted by repeated injuries etc. Anyone who thinks 04-05 cassell, spree were all-stars are dillusional.
    So basically ONE season with better supporting cast than TD, and he won the MVP that year. AND was better than Spurs, both in the regular season and the playoffs. What does that say?

    And Marbury? He became an all-star AFTER he left for New Jersey. And terrell brandon might have been a star if he wasn’t injured ALL THE TIME. How many healthy seasons did he give KG? how many healthy GAMES for that matter?

    And Admiral was good for only TWO seasons TD played with him? Like he wasn’t an NBA all-star in 2000, 01 season? And on top of that, how many of centers KG played with played better than OLD David Robinison. Michael Olowakandi? Blunt?
    And how many years did KG play for a hall-of-fame-bound coach like poppovich?

    I don’t think anybody will doubt TD’s career was way better than KG’s, and personally I think TD is a better, more valuable player. But that margin is fairly slim. And I most DEFINITELY think things would have been a LOT different if they switched places.

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