Kevin Garnett Earning Players’ Respect for Battling Owners in Labor Talks

by October 07, 2011

KG has been quite emotional and firm during the labor meetings in this NBA lockout, something his fellow players appreciate. From Yahoo! Sports: “He’s 35 years old, on a bad knee, and near the end of a Hall of Fame career. And yes, it takes some guts for Garnett to stand there in these Players Association news conferences, strong, defiant, and take the arrows again. He’s made more than $200 million in his career, and there are no more big contracts awaiting him. The Boston Celtics have one more season to make another title run, and then, with Garnett and Ray Allen free agents, the team will probably start to rebuild again. For Garnett to privately fight for the union in meetings, to implore the players to make no more undue concessions even if it means they sit out the season, has to be one of the most unselfish acts in these labor talks. They’ll call him greedy, ungrateful, a pig, and they’ll be wrong. There’s no winning for Garnett in this labor fight, unless he’s left something for the next generation of players, the way his predecessors did for him. ‘What he’s doing now, to me, it says a lot about K.G.,’ says a younger NBA player who made about $5 million last season. ‘He’s willing to sit out the year, and give up [$21 million] at the end of his last big contract, and probably his last really good chance to win another ring. For him, this is about the principle. I don’t want to hear this stuff from our guys saying, ‘Oh, he can afford to sit out. He’s made a lot of money.’ I respect the [expletive] out of those guys standing up for us right now, him, Kobe, all of them.'”