In a recent interview on The Ringer podcast, Kevin Garnett talked about a lot of things related to basketball, but one of the topics he touched upon was the younger generation of players. According to Garnett, he worked out with several younger players after he retired and is concerned about the approach they have towards practicing hard and spending the right amount of time in the gym.
“For a time, I was training some of the younger guys in the league, but a lot of the kids today have been curated into….look when I came into the league you had to do a 60 minute, maybe 65-70 minute workout by yourself. You have a coach with you for free throws or something like that. Today’s workouts like 15-20 minutes. “
Garnett also thinks the young players today have a severe problem of focusing and work on the craft the right way. The motivation and emotional and physical stability to get to that level are non-existent among the younger generation of players.
“Guys can’t focus, and guys can’t push through anything. So when it gets to a point where it starts to hurt or to a tough point, they let go. When you work out for 60 minutes, you know? Look at it like this. If me and you are working out, it’s you go I go, you go I go. When you’re by yourself, I’m going; I’m going. Next drill, I’m going. Part of that is to build up your endurance, so when you get to the fourth quarter, you gather wind, and you push through that. You can’t teach that doing 20-minute workouts with free throws. It was hard for me to mimic that.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the rare young players, who in Garnett’s mind, has the right mindset towards becoming a truly great player. Garnett worked out with Giannis on several occasions and thinks he is one of the rare players that has that old-school approach to the game.
“Giannis, I worked with him for a couple of years, and he has that old school mentality of wanting to push through.”