I know I've said it before. I've already admitted that writing Kevin Garnett off four months ago was stupid. I guess after last night, I realized just how stupid it was.
Kevin Garnett is, was, and forever will be one of the most unique individuals on the planet. His demeanor can be shocking, frightening, or warmly inviting, depending on when you experience it. He is prone to fits of dementia created solely by his own mind for the purposes of excelling at his craft.
We see bits and pieces of all of this at different times and, because we're human, we fill in the blanks with presumptions to satisfy our own desires to define everything, and everyone, we see. The clapping, the swearing, the chest-thumping, the surreal press conferences, jokes at the media's expense…. all part of the kaleidoscope that makes the impossibly complex Kevin Garnett. He cannot be defined, or captured by written descriptors and slickly edited vignettes.
And because Kevin Garnett is all that, we can never truly know when Kevin Garnett's basketball days have passed him by. Because it's all of that other stuff, or at least the mental mechanisms that make up all that other stuff, that make him the player that he is. It's all of that, plus the things we might never know about him, that make the physical tools better than what they might be in other people.
You see, Kevin Garnett IS old. At least, he is in NBA years. Out in the real world, he's getting ready to celebrate his 36th birthday. That's nothing. He's still a kid. But he's not "The Kid" anymore. And if you could plug someone else's brain into his body right now, it wouldn't function the same way. The legs wouldn't find that same lift. The jumper wouldn't still be true from 18 feet. The passes out of double teams in the post wouldn't still flutter perfectly over a defender's finger tips into a teammate's hands under the basket.
KG's brain, though, makes that body do incredible things. Still.
So I'm done judging… gauging… guessing about Kevin Garnett. I'm just watching him now. Like sitting on the porch in a swinging chair on an early summer day with some lemonade, I'm just going to watch with a slight smile on my face and appreciate the fact that I'll never know what truly goes on in that man's head that makes him so great. I don't even want to know, either. I'm happy knowing it will always be out of my reach. I'm just happy knowing he's always going to be KG, no matter what we might think.