Ladies and Gentlemen, the Big Ticket is back. Not that he ever left in the first place.
After a whirlwind of a season with the Boston Celtics, everyone expected Kevin Garnett to hang up his jersey, give a nice speech, then go home to his championship ring and family, and call it a career. However, true to form, KG shattered expectations and will play another 3 years with the Boston Celtics, the team he will probably retire with too.
This was going to be one heck of an offseason for the Celtics, but now that Garnett is back, the entire tone of it has changed. The Celtics are no longer a team trying to get itself together for the next couple of years. They are not in a rebuild, but in a reload. Garnett is crucial to this delicate process. Despite his elderly age of 36, Garnett had one of his best seasons in a while this year, producing 15 points and 8 rebounds per contest. One of the Celtics biggest problems has always been their frontcourt. Thankfully, Garnett does not have a small bone in his body. Barring some unforeseen injury, the Celtics can expect consistent and powerful production from KG throughout the next 3 years, even if he should come off the bench.
This brings me to my next point. Garnett does not have to start the game and put up 20 points to make an impact on the Boston ballclub. His veteran leadership and passion have pulled the Celtics through time and time again. Even when everyone in the NBA believed he was too old to make a difference this season, Kevin Garnett did not. It is his competitive spirit and playoff experience that make him so crucial to his franchise. Anyone who watches KG play the game can tell that he not only loves the city of Boston, but the game of basketball as a whole.
Regardless of his role, Garnett will continue to play every game like it game 7 of the NBA Finals both physically, and mentally until the day he finally does retire. He has a great relationship with Coach Doc Rivers as well as up-and-coming point guard, Rajon Rondo. When Garnett arrived in Boston, it is said he changed the whole tone and focus of the franchise in both play style as well as attitude. A Celtics team without KG would be far different than one without him. As someone who is loved by the city, the fans, and his teammates, Garnett is truly irreplaceable on the Celtics and will only continue to do them good as long as he is with the team. Besides keeping the team cool in difficult circumstances, Garnett’s veteran leadership will be monumentally helpful to Celtics new comers such as Greg Stiemsma and JaJuan Johnson, not to mention recent draft picks Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. Imagine the education any of them could receive from Garnett’s game and 17-year career. Even when KG is gone, his impact will still be felt on the next generation of Bean Town big men.
However, for a player like Garnett to continue his career by three whole years has a much greater impact on far more than the Boston Celtics. In a way, every team will feel the effects. For starters, Boston will have a competitive team for a very long time. Every season Garnett has been in the league, he has made his team a force to be reckoned with. One can never underestimate a competitive and determined player such as Kevin Garnett. Above all else, one of the greatest power forwards to ever play the game will not be retiring and will continue his career for another three years. When KG eventually does retire, he will certainly be missed. Not just in Boston, but throughout the league as well. 17 years is a long time and certainly enough time to make an impact. Garnett’s return is not only a great thing for the Boston Celtics but for the NBA as well.