Kevin Garnett And The Value of Team Bonding

kevin garnett boston celtics nba

Photo: AP

Over the last few years, Boston’s Kevin Garnett has earned something of a reputation as a bully — an inveterate trash-talker known to cross the line; and a moody, overly-intense dude who, rather than mellowing with age, has done the opposite. But as Paul Flannery points out at, it’s totally different for those wearing the same jersey as him. Yes, the Celtics vaunted defence depends on exceptional communication, but it’s a chicken-and-egg set-up.

Does Garnett have these relationships because of his commitment to team defence or does he buy into defence like this because of his conception of team? 

Take, for instance, his comments on new Celtic Nenad Krstic:

“He’s a really chill guy, he doesn’t really talk a lot,” Garnett said. “You got to make him talk sometimes. He’s a cool guy. He’s too himself. I think Sasha [Pavlovic] being here has helped him a lot and has opened him up a little bit.”

Communication is everything to Garnett, especially on the defensive end and yes, he was tied to Perkins in a very special way over the last three and a half years. But that’s over now and he’s determined to make it work with Krstic.

“He’s getting it,” Garnett said. “He’s working really hard at it. I’m just making sure that the communication between us is really solid.”

It makes a certain amount of sense that, if Garnett’s planning to work with a guy, he’s as invested in bonding with him as he is alienating and intimidating opponents. If there’s an us against them mentality that fuels KG, especially in this later phase of his career, there pretty much has to be a yin for the yang. That’s the way the universe works.

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