Kevin Garnett is still a household name at age 37, even if he isn’t the type of talent that most young basketball fans would idolize with a poster – or I guess it would be a Fathead nowadays – in their bedrooms.
But as he’s aged and his abilities have lessened slowly but surely, his leadership and motivational skills have only done the exact opposite. And with the plethora of stars he’s surrounded by on the Brooklyn Nets, that skill set is the most important aspect Garnett will bring to the team as they seek to bring home a championship by next June.
“First thing you need to be a champion is to have the mentality of a champion,” Garnett told Sina TV while in China recently. “Losing is not an option. Going into competition you know you have to prepare yourself, every night, every night. Every time you touch the floor, you have to be prepared. You have to know your opponent. You have to know A-to-Z what he likes to do.”
As we’ve known for so long, statements like these are what make Garnett one of the more highly-respected players in the league. The fire within him still burns at a five alarm rate, even though the same can’t be said about many players who are much younger that have never come within shouting distance of winning a championship.
Intensity and an understanding like that is what is going to keep the rest of the Nets’ spirits high when struggles come about, as well as keep them grounded and filled with humility when they get on a nice roll. No matter how much talent they have, they’ll still need to work harder than ever before in order to be the last team standing.
Jason Kidd may be the actual head coach of the Nets, but Garnett’s influence will essentially make him a sort of player-coach that will provide change to the team’s culture.
I’m sure Kidd won’t mind that at all.