Yesterday morning when I saw a Facebook post with a rumor about Kevin Garnett returning to the Timberwolves I sort of chuckled. “That would figure, wouldn’t it?”
Needless to say I wasn’t surprised to learn later on in the day that they had indeed traded Thaddeus Young and a mid-tier first round pick for Big Ticket. Sadly, the first thing I thought about was how certain folks in the Minnesota media, especially on the radio, would deride the move as an unnecessary money grab to take advantage of nostalgics who get all mushy when anything involves “one of us.”
I don’t like that I do that. They don’t deserve any attention much less to be the first people I think of. I’m sort of upset that I even mention them in passing.
As with the Twins signing of Torii Hunter, having Garnett back will be fun. There were hopes that, with an influx of young talent and a decent “big three” in Kevin Martin, Ricky Rubio, and Nikola Pekovic, the Timberwolves could be a fun team to watch this year. Those aspirations faded as each of their leaders fell to injuries throughout the season. Having Garnett back will make watching them fun again. And isn’t that the point of sports?
Practically, a hard worker like Garnett will also obviously have a positive impact on the several young players that the team is banking their future on. Zach LaVine, Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad, and Andrew Wiggins will hopefully learn a lot from him, most importantly the acumen and leadership skills it takes to build a winning team. Talent means very little without the effort and determination to back it up. Garnett possesses those qualities more than any other player of his generation.
Especially considering the small price they paid for him, there is no reason to disparage the Kevin Garnett signing. Hopefully the Wolves will convince him to play a couple more years so maybe he can lead the team on one last run.