Category Archives: Big Three

Is it too Early to Cast Doubts on Kevin Garnett’s Health?

The hopes and aspirations of this season Boston Celtics rely heavily on the health of Kevin Garnett

The hopes and aspirations of this season Boston Celtics rely heavily on the health of Kevin Garnett

As preseason is now less than a month away, with the lack of information regarding Kevin Garnett’s progress, is it fair to begin casting doubts on his ability to play in the preseason? Is it fair to question whether he will be available to play in Cleveland on opening night?

 

Dating back to last season, I was not a Celtics “KG conspiracy believer”. I did find it coincidental, however, that the Celtics declared Garnett “ready to play next week” several times before completely shutting him down around the time tickets sold out for game one of the opening round series of the playoffs.

As the playoffs progressed, Doc Rivers flirted with the possibility of a KG return. Garnett’s staring in a TV commercial right in the heart of the thrilling Chicago series furthered speculation over KG’s return.

With emotions stirring over the first round of the playoffs, a series most found to be absolutely one of the more exciting series in playoff history, I found myself thinking – How is KG healthy enough to shoot an Adidas commercial but unable to sit on the bench in a suit through an entire game?

The commercial served as a tease to me, a person who had not so feverishly craved a Celtic in uniform since Larry Bird spent weeks on the injured list in 1992.

After my emotions cooled, I realized basketball is a business and I am sure KG was capable of fulfilling his endorsement obligations, even with a bum knee.

I still hate that commercial though!

Paul Pierce gave an excellent interview yesterday to Peter Stringer, discussing a range of topics regarding the Celtics 2010 championship aspirations, he also briefly touched on KG’s health.

He mentioned Garnett being at the Waltham practice facility as a, “KG sighting”, a phrase we heard all too often during last spring’s playoffs when KG was spotted entering the practice facility. To me, a “KG sighting” is not too reassuring.

Then Stringer went on to ask Pierce how KG looked. Pierce responded:

“He’s lookin’ pretty good. He didn’t play but he’s out there doin’ slides, he’s liftin’ the weights, he’s on the treadmill, so we’re excited to have him back”

Again, to me, Pierce’s assessment of KG’s progress seems to be guarded and not reassuring.

As Greg Payne of Celtics Circuit pointed out, at the 50 second mark of the video, you can see Garnett doing defensive slides at Waltham. As great as it is to see KG in practice gear with the team, it is equally concerning to see the stiff manner in which Garnett is moving in. He looks to be hampered by a, still recovering, sleaved right knee.

I know I have to keep in perspective that Garnett recently underwent surgery on that knee and that recovery does not happen over night.

Some will say that I am paranoid.

My response to that claim is that the Celtics created this paranoia last season with their flip flopping on all things regarding Kevin Garnett’s health. Though I do not believe that the Celtics knew the severity of his injury when they claimed Garnett ready to play the week before the playoffs began (only to shut him down several days later), I do believe their dificiencies in properly relaying Garnett’s injury status to the media only added to an already beat up locker room. 

Basically, I am disturbed to say that I have lost all confidence in the Celtics medical staff when it comes to Kevin Garnett’s status updates, or lack there of.

At this point, the only thing that will subdue this brewing debate over KG’s health is for the Big Ticket himself to start talking to the media about his progress.

Even the reclusive, private, anti-social and some times rude, Larry Bird realised the importance his health played on team moral and gave media statements regarding his progress or, at times, lack of progress.

I am not questioning Garnett’s heart or desire to play – who would? I am only stating that, at times, an athlete needs to put aside his own tendencies to be private and guarded for the betterment of team moral.

If the Celtics are going to face a stint at the start of the season with Garnett unable to play, they should be emotionally and strategically preparing for that scenario now.

If Garnett’s progress is moving as expected and he will 100% be in uniform on October 27th then Garnett should say it and if they are unsure of whether he will be properly recovered and conditioned to play by opening night – he should just say it.

KG, we are waiting to hear from you!

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Boston Celtics Take ‘Educated Risk’ in Securing this Season’s Roster

After winning the title in 2008, the taste of championship glory is still on the tip of my nose. I can recall watching game 6 of the 2008 Finals in disbelief as the Celtics steam rolled over the Lakers before half time.

How sweet it was!

Raw emotions were displayed on the faces of players and fans alike. The Boston faithful had waited 22 years for this moment.

Players such as Kevin Garnett had spent a life time listening to doubters proclaiming he does not have what it takes to get it done. Watching Garnett drop to the floor and kiss the Celtics logo, penned by Red Auerbach’s brother, seemed to perfectly sum up the sixty years of championship glory and recent years of heart wrenching mediocrity, tragic deaths and untimely injuries with the flawless respect for the basketball legends that preceded him.

Sure Garnett’s raw emotion was viewed by some as barbaric. At times Kevin could be barbaric in his emotional response to victory or defeat. That “barbaric behavior” is honest, real and right from the heart. What can be more refreshing in an era where the image of NBA players has taken the front seat over honesty and reality?

Though the Celtics had competitive teams from 1987 thru 1992 and again in 2001, the championship never really seemed that close.

Even during the competitive years, their were always too many “ifs” surrounding the team.

“If Bird remains healthy, we can win it all again…”

“If McHale’s ankles stay strong no one can guard him in the post…”

“If Auerbach can pull off one more historic move to get us a bench…”

“If Len Bias didn’t…”

“If Reggie Lewis…”

My biggest “if” was always, if Bird never hurt his back in 1990 he could have had his last championship encore against Magic and the Lakers in 1991. What could have been more fitting?

Similar “if” scenarios surround the current Celtics team. The honest truth is, when you surround your team’s faith around the health of players over 30 you are always taking an “educated risk”.

As a fan that still tastes the victory celebrations of June 17, 2008, I would prefer to have educated and experienced veterans in a bid to reclaim glory now then youthful inexperienced players looking to make a name for themselves and possibly have team success while doing it.

As a Celtics fan from the 1980’s, I preferred the “educated risk” the organization took as the original big three’s career winded down by keeping them intact. Many may have forgotten but trade talks, similar to those surrounding Ray Allen’s this season, surrounded Kevin McHale after the 1990 loss to the Knicks in the first round.

Back then I grimaced at the thought of Bird, Parish and McHale being broken up, it just wasn’t Celtic-like to dispose of players that played on broken feet to help us reach the Finals.

Red Auerbach believed in rewarding players that worked hard for him with job security. Though in today’s era that is nearly impossible, I still believe in that philosophy. The philosophy that if a player has job security he will help to train his eventual replacement. Call me naive but Celtics players longevity with the team is one of the elements that drove me to be such an ardent Celtics fan.

Today I feel my view points have not changed. To break up Pierce, Garnett and Allen would be a sin that would do Red disjustice.

Yes, I will stand by the Celtics “educated risk” just as I did in the late 80s/early 90s. Hopefully this time around all the “what ifs…” that coincide with reminiscing about possible championships past will be replaced by “thank god we didn’t…”