Boston Celtics / Minnesota Timberwolves Playoff Preview
Note: This article appears on www.DeROK.Net
"I’m ready. I can’t even describe it. I feel like it’s rookie season all over again, with the energy I have. You guys have been talking all that bull, so I’m ready to prove all you wrong. I’m here. Hey, when stuff got tight, when Steph [Marbury] left, I’m here. When we went through the draft pick [forfeitures], I’m here. When we got put out six years in a row, I’m here. I’m going to be here until they don’t want me anymore. I’m ‘Sota, man. This is where I live, 365 days. I’m here. Life is tough. You can’t run from everything." – Kevin Garnett in a 2002 pre-season interview
If there was any question as to why thousands upon thousands of Minnesota Timberwolves fans will be overloading the Boston Celtics’ bandwagon on Sunday night, one has to look no further than the quote above for an answer. In an league where buyouts and sell-outs and trade demands are common place, Kevin Garnett refused to do anything less than be a man, honor his contract, and play his heart and soul out for his fans. Despite a multitude of pressures from the mainstream media and close friends to force his way into a better situation, Kevin Garnett stayed true to his word through his entire twelve seasons as a Minnesota Timberwolf.
I’m here. I’m going to be here until they don’t want me anymore.
As incredulous as it may seem that an NBA team wouldn’t want Kevin Garnett any more, that’s exactly what happened over the summer of 2007. Cap-strapped, pickless, and backed into a corner, the Timberwolves’ management made the decision to trade away their lone bargaining chip for a younger foundation to rebuild upon. What followed was the largest trade for a single player in NBA history. It was a move that would break the collective heart of Minnesota and revitalize a moribound Boston franchise. Through the months that followed, Wolves fans began coming to terms with the deal and learned to love their young heroes like Big Al Jefferson and Ryan Gomes, but any feelings they had for the "new guys" simply paled in comparison to what the Big Ticket had meant to them during his tenure in Minnesota. There was simply no way for Garnett’s replacements to wash away twelve years of an impeccable work ethic, undying loyalty, and unforgettable memories.