Thinking of KG….

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I hadn’t planned on going to last Friday’s Timberwolves/Nets game until I saw an electronic advertisement touting the “Battle of the Kevins” on Block E that morning. The Kevins pictured, of course, were Love and Garnett. Seeing KG’s giant pixilated profile moved something in me. I suddenly felt like I needed to be at that game.  11 hours and $128 later, I found myself sitting in section 101 filled with reflection and anticipation.

Despite being roughly the same age as Garnett and growing up during the 1990s, I never really embraced KG like I did other Minnesota superstars of that era. I followed the Timberwolves, appreciated his greatness and enjoyed watching his all around game, but KG was never “my guy”. That title belonged to Cris Carter or Randy Moss or possibly even Daunte Culpepper.

Now, as Garnett enters the twilight of his career, I kind of feel guilty about that. My gut told me Friday would be his last appearance in Target Center as an active player. It was my chance to say good bye and make an amend of sorts.

KG and his aged, injury riddled Nets squad staggered into Minneapolis at 3-8. During a 1st quarter time out, the Wolves ran a standing ovation inducing video tribute to their greatest player. Garnett, on the bench at the time, stood up and acknowledged the crowd by waving to each side of the arena and patting his hand on his heart. It was a genuine display of affection from the fans and the player.

Nostalgia is nice until the game starts. And on this night, nostalgia was about all Brooklyn had to offer. The Wolves meanwhile, were living in the present, rolling to a 30-point victory. For the most part, Garnett was quiet, scoring 8 points and grabbing 8 rebounds in 21 minutes. His most notable contribution was a flagrant foul on Kevin Love in the 3rd quarter that ignited a 16-0 Wolves run and sealed the Nets fate.

KG is averaging 6.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and shooting .361 from the field. Like so many other great athletes before him, it doesn’t appear to be ending well for Garnett. When the book is closed on his Hall of Fame career however, this stint with the Nets will be quickly forgotten and KG will be remembered as an MVP, a champion and the enduring face of the Timberwolves franchise.

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