Kevin Garnett, 36, resigned with the Boston Celtics with a 3 year, $34 million contract. Many Celtics’ fans and NBA analysts have had questions about whether the former MVP still has enough to have a $11 million a year impact for the Celtics. Well, numbers don’t lie but they don’t explain everything. His numbers have definitely dipped from his production when he was in his prime. However his impact on the Celtics doesn’t rest only on the amount of points he scores and rebounds he grabs, but rather his leadership and respect he has garnered from the rest of the players in the NBA. This article will include 5 specific reasons why Kevin Garnett will deserve the 34 million dollars he will make the three next year with the Celtics.
1. Effective Mid-Range Jump-shot
Garnett might not have the same explosive leaping ability he has to dominate the paint like he used to have back in Minnesota, but he might have one of the few automatic offensive abilities in the entire NBA. Whether its off a Rondo pass or after a few dribbles, Garnett’s mid range jump-shot seems to never miss. It cannot be blocked by any of the premier shot blockers in the league because Garnett gets the ball high up during his release and the obvious, Garnett is too tall. Garnett gives Rajon Rondo an excellant recipient for a pick and pop scenario.
2. Elite Rebounding
Kevin Garnett lead the league in rebounding for multiple seasons while with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The explosiveness and hand-coordination is still there for the 36 year old veteran. Last season, he averaged 8.2 rebounds per game while playing a measly 30 minutes a game. Garnett is one of the best rebounders in the league and too add on to the rebounding is his immediate passing from a rebound. Garnett is one of the best outlet passers in the league and often creates fast break opportunities for Rondo and the other Celtics’ ball handlers. Clearly the Celtics’ need a big man to control the paint so Garnett was well worth around 8 figures per year.
3. Defensive leadership
The most important of Kevin Garnett’s attributes is his ability to be the point guard on defense. Garnett is not the greatest one on one defenders in the league because of his skeletal body type, and can’t handle the much larger power forwards/centers in the league. However a case can be made that Garnett is the best team defender in the league. Anyone watching from home on their television can spot Garnett often pointing and shouting out directions to his team. KG is one of the more knowledgeable defenders in the league and he takes pride in hard work and hustle so he gives it 110%, (had to take this line from Lou Ferrigno), on every possession defensively and offensively. Celtics have been one of the better defensive teams in the league and a lot of the success his because of former Defensive Player of the Year Kevin Garnett.
4. Avoid letting him go to a division rival
Kevin Garnett was a highly sought after free agent this year and the Brooklyn Nets were one of the biggest suitors for the aging power forward. With the Brooklyn Nets revamping for their arrival to the Barclays Center, talent is flooding to the once laughed-at franchise. Garnett very easily could have been part of their blue-prints had the Celtics offered a poor deal. However to lure the loyal Garnett they had to offer a reasonable deal similar, but not necessarily, as high as the Nets’ deal. To play the “what if…” in all this, had Garnett signed with the Nets, the Celtics would have easily relinquished the Atlantic Division title to the Nets. Also, Paul Pierce would be more settled on leaving the Celtics next year, leaving the Celtics to rely heavily on Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green. Garnett was a must-sign at any cost for the Celtics to avoid any sort of supplements being given to their division rivals like the Nets.
Kevin Garnett has one of the most important ingredients to concoct a perfect recipe to become an NBA great. Simply put, this one characteristic is his swagger. When Garnett rests his head on the mat which protects the pole of the basketball hoop, and then yells with adrenaline, opponents better expect greatness coming from the athlete. Garnett hold so much respect from the rest of the league, and any team with Garnett will never be regarded as an easy team to beat. Garnett’s demeanor to some may seem raucous and often senseless but it holds so much value throughout the league. Kevin Garnett is the epitome of basketball royalty, and no one can deny the love he has for the game. The Celtics will forever remain a respectable opponent as long as they have Kevin Garnett.
Verdict: Clearly Kevin Garnett will be worth the contract given to him by the Celtics this past offseason.