November 18, 2005

In A Game Of Fools Without The Rules, Got A Hell Of A Nerve To Just Criticize...

Fort Sumter is on high alert.

Something bad could start to happen very soon.

It just got posted to the front page of "KG Questions McHale's Leadership".

I wonder if I'll be able to type from the fetal position.

I've thought about this too much in the past year, and it's getting unhealthy. Every time I consider that Deadzo might be stupid enough to trade KG or let him walk, I start to get a buzzing in my stomach. Inevitably, the only thing that makes me feel better is to repeat the same mantra over and over again: "I'm a Timberwolf for life, man". That's from KG's mouth, and I've never had reason to think he is a liar.

But this whole thing just reeks. It reeks like Vince Carter. It reeks like Shaq. That feeling of The Superstar vs. The Team. Does it ever end well?

Let's just state a few truths here:

#1 Kevin McHale is not a good GM. He has been woefully inadequate at providing Kevin Garnett with on-court support for almost his entire tenure. The notable exception was Spree and Sam, which were two deals he walked completely backwards into.

#2 Kevin Garnett is the best player in the NBA, and probably the best at making others around him better. Sure, there are arguments to be made, that's why I say "probably". Duncan does a phenomenal job of making his teammates better, as does Kidd. Shaq makes things easier (there's a difference), and Steve Nash let's his teammates do simple things better (again, he doesn't necessarily make anyone better, but he does simplify it. Instead of doing anything related to skill, all Amare has to do is run towards the basket and the alley-oop is coming), but again, I don't think that anyone else does what KG does. For fuck's sake, occasionally he makes Bowl of Kandi look good. He deserves a medal for that.

#3 Kevin Garnett doesn't need superstars around him. But he also doesn't need no-name role players. He needs the in-between guys, the wild cards, the guys who don't have any discernable skills other than being pure ballplayers. Kevin McHale has surrounded KG with low-talent role players for his entire run at GM. Spree and Sam are the obvious exceptions, with Wally close behind. I won't count Stephon, because he's a complete fuck-up, and doesn't need to be mentioned on this blog or any other ever again.

Here is a brief list of players who look good on the Wolves (in the same way Spree and Sam looked good):

Ricky Davis
Al Harrington
Shareef Abdur Rahim
Earl Watson
Bonzi Wells
Cuttino Mobley
Darius Miles
Antawn Jamison
Rashard Lewis
Jamal Crawford

This is a small list that I just came up with in about five minutes. I'm sure it's much more extensive. The point is that any one of those players would thrive with KG, and none of them are role players. None of them are Trenton Hassell or Anthony Carter.

#4 The Wolves probably would have defeated the Lakers in the 2004 Conference Finals if Sam had been healthy. I know, it still hurts. But it warrants mentioning.

#5 Kevin Garnett is the Timberwolves and the Timberwolves are Kevin Garnett. If he leaves, by trade or free agency, the blame lies solely on Kevin McHale and Glen Taylor. I cannot stress this enough. Because eventually, in this process, the player is going to be made the scape-goat by more than a few media outlets. Let's not forget the reason KG is frustrated: because Deadzo has simply not done a good job at being an NBA GM.

Panic. That's what this feels like. A low hum of panic. It makes you think crazy thoughts. You think about Minnesota basketball without KG. You think of the Target Center, cheering through the introductions, until the last name is called... "From Farragut... Academy.... Number 21...." and at that point, you can't even hear the announcer, because all noise has been replaced with maniacal cheering. You think of that, and you think of what it would be like with someone else in that place, someone else getting announced last, someone else living in KG's shadow. You think of how it's cool to wear Timberwolves jerseys now, and you remember the Laettner and Rider jerseys that were like cruel jokes. But mostly, you think of Toronto. You look at their record every day... 0-7, 0-8, and on and on. You look at LA, and Kobe hoisting up 35 shots a game while Phil sleeps on the bench and Lamar goddamned Odom scowls.

It doesn't have to happen this way. It didn't have to happen like it did. He doesn't have to leave, we don't have to trade him. Deadzo is stupid, but is he that stupid?

Christ, I'm getting sick again. Timberwolf for life, timberwolf for life, timberwolf for life...

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