Kevin Garnett’s narrative has been saved
By Chris Barnewall (@ChrisBarnewall)
Narratives are generally, and deservedly so, hated by NBA fans, bloggers, media, and players alike. That’s because when the word narrative appears it’s never related to something that is actually enjoyable about basketball. They always have to do with “Is this player clutch” or does “He have IT”, and many other headache inducing attempts at playing psychologist with NBA players we’ve never spoken to personally.
Kevin Garnett’s return to Minnesota is what happens when a narrative goes right. The tireless, sometimes psychotic NBA player that worked his ass off and achieved greatness in a small market all by himself. Tried as Garnett did, he was never able to achieve a championship in Minnesota, and finally one day it was over.
Garnett took his polarizing personality to Boston so he could win his first, and only, NBA championship. So the narrative shifted, and it was a story that we had all seen before. The superstar that changed teams, won the championship he desired, and then played out the remainder of his days with his new team until he went down in the record books there, forever loved.
Of course, nothing is ever simple with Garnett, and he changed his narrative yet again. Another change of scenery was in his future, and this time it was in a little borough called Brooklyn. Some could argue that Boston pushed him out the door in an effort to rebuild, but that doesn’t really matter. The narrative for Garnett had shifted once more, but this time it was a little less happy. His tenure in Brooklyn was hated by all, because it just wasn’t the way Garnett was supposed to go out. He was a shell of himself, and his trash talking antics merely received eye rolls and yawns. This isn’t the way an NBA legend is supposed to go out, even though it’s happened with guys like Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon, KG was supposed to be different.
And that’s why the Kevin Garnett trade back to Minnesota is going to be remembered forever.
This trade saved the Kevin Garnett narrative from a fate that he didn’t deserve. NBA legends shouldn’t end their careers in unfamiliar uniforms, barely recognizable from what they once were, because that narrative is depressing. No, the narrative of Garnett is that he left Minnesota, won his championship, and then he returned to where he started. His storied playing career is going to end where it began, and that’s the best narrative of them all.
Next: The Suns That Got Away