Kevin Garnett RumorsAll NBA Players
Height: 6-11 / 2.11
Weight:237 lbs. / 107.5 kg.
Height: 6-11 / 2.11
Weight:237 lbs. / 107.5 kg.
Jason Terry noticed Antetokounmpo was different from other star players he’d seen. “One night I came to the gym late, and he was there shooting for about 20 minutes,” Terry explained. “Then, for the next 15 minutes, he did something I’ve never seen from Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd or Paul Pierce. And he was working on defensive coverages. No one works on defense by themselves. This kid is way ahead of the curve.”
Embiid has established himself as the game’s pre-eminent trash talker because of his ability to come at you from multiple fronts. He provokes with smile on his face, a shrug of the shoulders and the occasional well-placed elbow. “Embiid’s the most trash-talkin’,” Kevin Garnett, a former NBA All-Star who hosts TNT’s Area 21, told me. “He’s probably the most noticeable of all the players that goes out and actually makes it his business to say you can’t stop me. You know you can’t stop me.” Today’s player doesn’t necessarily take the art of trash talk as seriously as their predecessors, like KG. “You can get hurt, but you don’t take it personal,” Klay Thompson said. “Some guys are pretty sensitive, but they don’t take that personal, fortunately.”
The practice of trading cutting remarks and insults has been a part of pro basketball for a long time, but it gained prominence in the 1960s and 1970s. As African American players from urban cities populated pro basketball, they brought with them the tradition of “the dozens,” a spoken-word battle of wits commonly played with spectators present to cheer and hiss the competitors. On the court, insults added a psychological element to what was primarily physical warfare. “It’s just leverage. It’s another way to get you off your game or get you out the game,” Kevin Garnett told me. “When you’re talkin’ shit, you gotta back it up. You talkin’ shit, he talkin’ shit. Now, when I see you, I gotta be about what I was talkin’ about.”
LeBron James has demonstrated a unique ability to bend the media cycle to his will by giving the masses calculated doses of his complicated image. His feeds are a steady amalgamation of cheery antics, inspirational quotes and passive-aggressive shade. He can make you laugh with the lip-syncing and encourage you to live your best life or make you believe in his dedication to winning another title with his workouts. He once tweeted: “Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT and just FIT-IN. Be apart of something special! Just my thoughts.” And the sports world tripped all over itself trying to sort out what he meant and whom he was speaking to. (Was LeBron calling out Kevin Love?) When LeBron speaks, the earth under the NBA trembles. “LB has built the right and built the reputation to comment,” Kevin Garnett reasoned. “He’s one of the pillars of the league. He’s been through it. He’s been weathered; he’s earned his stripes. Now he can voice his opinion on whatever.”
Only six players have been named to five All-Star teams before age 25 (Kevin Garnett would’ve made it seven, if not for the 1999 lockout). The other five — Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James — are either in the Hall of Fame or will be first-ballot inductees once eligible. But what those other players have on their resumes — playoff success and championship rings — is something Davis is eager to add. Cousins’ presence wasn’t going to carry the Pelicans to be a contender, but he possibly would’ve helped Davis do better than the first-round sweep he encountered in 2015. Without him, the challenge of simply getting into the postseason — even with the Western Conference a little wobblier than usual after Golden State and Houston — is that much greater. “We’re trying to find our groove again. A lot of guys are playing out of position. I’m playing a lot more five now. We’re asking a lot from everybody and we just have to step up as a team and find a way to win,” Davis told Yahoo Sports. “I just tell them, ‘Keep playing. Keep fighting. Keep believing in each other. Right now is not the time to separate. We’ve got to stay together.’ We’ve got a lot of games left. Nobody is really taking off, fourth [seed] through 10th. We’re going to always stay in the fight, as long as we keep giving ourselves a chance. We’ve got to play hard and keep having fun.”
After Pierce’s number was retired Sunday in Boston, the 10-time All-Star wondered if, in an era of players switching teams in free agency, it might be a while before Boston’s next number retirement. Pierce later told ESPN that he believes Garnett is a slam-dunk to join him. “Without a doubt, KG’s number will be [the next one] retired in Boston,” said Pierce. “It’s going to happen.”
The NBA is filled with insomniacs. When point guard Rajon Rondo was in Boston, he used to watch Celtics replays at 2 a.m., then call power forward Kevin Garnett at 4 for a debrief. When Derrick Rose was in Chicago, he kept a key to the Bulls practice facility so he could play cutthroat with his roommates in the middle of the night. Kobe Bryant’s sunrise workouts became the stuff of legend in Los Angeles, but the Mamba wasn’t necessarily setting his alarm at dawn. He was usually awake anyway. Celtics forward Gordon Hayward has sat out this whole season, after breaking his ankle Opening Night, but sleep remains elusive. He plays video games, specifically Destiny 2, until his lids close.