Defending MVP Kevin Garnett must no longer be permitted to do whatever he pleases whenever he pleases and as often as he pleases. Enough of Saunders indulging the Big Ticket as if he’s his own private Ticket and habitually coaching to benefit Garnett first and foremost!
Enough catering to Garnett every half-court possession and not demanding he play intelligently! Enough of him having to touch the ball every time downcourt unless it’s a fast break! Enough of the gaudy numbers that aren’t translating lately into victories, or transforming his supporting cast into a championship team any time soon!
Nobody’s saying Garnett hasn’t earned preferential treatment; clearly he’s one of the league’s elite players. He boasts gobs of talent, but has yet to learn how to be one of its greatest players. Too frequently ego overrides brain waves.
Faced with authentic challenges from the likes of Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki and now Amare Stoudemire, Garnett almost always falls into the trap of taking the matchup personally.
What’s more, when things get tough you can count on Garnett to force the issue almost every time. With the game in the balance and the defense swarming around him, you can depend on him to hoist up an unsavory shot, or put the ball down in traffic and get it stolen.
Who knows; maybe because people have such lofty expectations of him, Garnett feels pressured to produce. He wants to win, sure, but I’m not convinced he wants any of his teammates to creep into his spotlight, or abduct his glory on any kind of consistent basis.
When Michael Jordan learned to take advantage of open teammates, the Bulls began their assembly of six titles. When Shaquille O’Neal learned to tolerate sharing the floodlights and the ball with Kobe Bryant, the Lakers captured three consecutive crowns.
Meanwhile, look what’s going on in Miami. It’s easy to see why the 26-8 Heat are dominating the East. Shaq is deferring to Dwyane Wade ” allowing him to emerge unrestrained or unresented into a simonized superstar ” and regularly downplaying his offensive repertoire so less artistic teammates can get off without a hand in their face.
Being Wilt doesn’t get it. Being MJ does. Until Garnett grasps the above winning recipe, it’s not going to happen for Minny Ha-Ha.