By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully
The phrase “they’ll never be one quite like (insert great player’s name here)” is often overused in my opinion. Sure those players who you cram into that sentence probably deserve to be there, but in this cookie cutter age of sports, especially the NBA, where all the players shoot three’s, wear funky cloths at press conferences and all want to live/play in warm weather climates, that uniqueness in itself is becoming rare.
Last night when the TD Garden essentially bid adieu to former Celtic and NBA great Kevin Garnett who, in all likelihood, partook (didn’t actually play) his last game in Boston as its rumored he will retire at the end of the season, that same cookie cutter phrase was uttered “There’ll never be another one quite like KG.”
After my eyes finished rolling from the cliché, I thought to myself about Kevin Garnett and the type of player he was and I found myself reminiscing all the KG moments. Him thrusting his jersey out from his chest seemingly to the rafters declaring the Celtics his team in the heat of the game, doing push ups after a hard foul before he went to the line and who could forget that he reminded all Celtics fans that…well.. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
So as fans went from chanting “We want KG” to “Thank you KG” those memories filled the TD Garden again and we were seemingly back to when the numbers 5, 34 and 20 were flying around the parquet.
Kevin Garnett was and will always be rare.
In a day and age where it is commonplace to announce your retirement (cough… Kobe…cough) and go on the farewell tour, Garnett has said not a word. Instead of doing that, he is mentoring Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to hopefully one day be great players for Minnesota. That’s old school. That’s Kevin Garnett.
For Celtics fans, it’s obvious why they love KG. He instantly made the C’s relevant again and put a banner into the rafters, but there is also something else that I appreciate the Big Ticket for. He, Paul Pierce and I guess Jason Terry allowed Celtics fans to be fans after they were gone.
With that trade that sent those three players to Brooklyn and a boatload of draft picks to Boston, C’s fans did not have to root for their team to fail to get a high draft pick and be relevant again. That trade allowed fans to appreciate the growth of Brad Stevens, Marcus Smart and all the other youngsters while Brooklyn does the dirty work.
Now this is more on Danny Ainge making the deal than anything else, but it wouldn’t have gotten done without those players saying yes to the deal and that shouldn’t get over looked.
Kevin Garnett was crazy, passionate, funny, competitive and turned every game he could into a bar fight. The consumate teammate and a rare talent.
Boston fans get it and as Doc Rivers once called it it’s “a classy place” here. They understand greatness when it’s in front of them and the send off last night to KG showed that with the chants on down to Gino Time on the jumbotron.
There will never be anther one quite like Kevin Garnett.