When you say Kevin Garnett, the first thing that comes to mind is intensity. The Big Ticket only knew how to play basketball one way. There was no taking it easy with KG, and the play that sums up everything you need to know about Kevin Garnett happened against LeBron and Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals.
You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what KG thinks about load management and minute restrictions. Giannis‘ 36 minutes per game in the playoffs seem like an organizational philosophy, but Garnett made it clear Giannis is the one that should, and ultimately does make the call.
“I’m going to be honest with y’all. I’ll probably get some shit for this, but no trainer’s going to tell me how long I’m playing. Once I’m out here, I’m out here. If I could play, I’m playing. Y’all pay me to play, so shut the fu** up and let me hoop. And that was the end of the discussion. There ain’t no more talking.”Kevin Garnett, Complex
We know Giannis wanted to play more, but Mike Budenholzer was stubborn about resting the MVP at specific times and limiting his minutes. Being a part of the Spurs coaching tree, you hope Bud goes back to his roots and checks out this clip.
I don’t think Bud was doing this, but sometimes coaches are testing their players. They lead you to a point where you do what KG is advocating and say “Nah, I’m staying in the game.” Well, some players do that.
“The training staff can’t tell how much heart you got, they don’t know how really big your balls are.”Kevin Garnett, Complex
If there is a segment of the game in which I’ll side with the veterans and say we need more of the past in today’s NBA, it’s that part. Step up, take responsibility, and live with the consequences. The ones that do that are still in the bubble. The ones that don’t are at home, watching the games with the rest of us.