The play was fairly ordinary for the Minnesota Timberwolves—a steal by Ricky Rubio sparking a break and a blind dropoff to a lane-filler. After all, the Wolves have plenty of those, from reigning Slam Dunk Champion Zach LaVine to reigning ROY Andrew Wiggins to leading ROY candidate Karl-Anthony Towns. Only this time it was none of them. This time it was 39-year-old Kevin Garnett, finishing with a right-handed hammer on Blake Griffin.
Garnett obviously isn’t anywhere near the player he used to be, and he lost long-time friend Flip Saunders to cancer right before the season began, but if there’s anything that’s remained constant about KG over his 21-year NBA career, it’s the effort. The intensity. He’s never let anyone outwork or outhustle him, and damned if he’s going to start now.
So he outruns rookies, gives players who weren’t born when he was drafted reason to celebrate, and sets an example that will live on long after he’s retired. He dunks on dunk champions, finishes finishers and heads back downcourt, ready for the next one.