Apart from being a great physical specimen with incredible talent and a knack for basketball, Kevin Garnett had an unbelievable basketball IQ. As a young kid coming to the NBA straight out of high school, curiosity is also a significant factor that can help you in your process to become a professional and potentially even a HOF player. Asking questions and learning from them, not only about basketball but also about managing things that come alongside that lifestyle. It’s important to have veterans on your squad who can teach you these things and set the example you will follow and hopefully improve later on in your next generation.
In his new book KG: A to Z: An Uncensored Encyclopedia of Life, Basketball, and Everything in Between, Garnett talks about the importance of leadership and mentorship. The thing that separates great players from the good ones is knowledge, willingness to learn, and constantly improving their craft. That is why you need intelligent veterans on your squad to teach you things that you need to know on and off the court.
Knowledge. No one knew the option was there. No one knew the league had all these little, minute intangibles. Only the knowledgeable knew that. Only the ones searching and looking. This when you gotta tap into the network of the NBA. This is why you talk to OGs. This is why OGs are in your locker room. This is how you get better. You do better by being around better.Kevin Garnett, via KG: A to Z
Garnett is not a big fan of teams that predominantly have young players because those things usually don’t work. Several players said this before, and Garnett truly believes that the NBA is structured in a way that now there is a lack of veterans on a lot of teams in the league. Garnett encourages everyone to look for advice from older and more experienced people simply because you can get information to help you with whatever you are currently doing.
When the league puts a bunch of puppies in the locker room that don’t know shit and only listen to each other, then guess what? It makes it simple for the league to get things passed. That’s why you always gotta show respect for the OGs-not just in the NBA but in any business. Don’t just assume they’re old and out of touch. Don’t just dismiss them with an “OK, Boomer.” Download everything you can from the OGs. They can help you help yourself.Kevin Garnett, via KG: A to Z
All the things Garnett mentioned make sense and definitely is an aspect that can help young players in their process of becoming real professionals. Having a good mentor that will show you how certain things are done is advantageous, especially when you are young and starting with a specific profession. Having the ambition to learn and be curious led to success for numerous NBA players, with Garnett being one of them.