With Kevin Garnett's days as a player nearing the end, it's been a year of reflection and mentoring for KG. The Celtics played in Minnesota a couple days ago in possibly their last matchup ever against Garnett, but the former Celtic sat out due to an injury. However, he was on the Minnesota bench barking out advice and wisdom, making him look more and more like a coach. After the game, Gorgui Dieng of the Wolves talked about how KG still talks about and reminisces on his time in Boston, specifically referring to the 2010 NBA Finals loss to the Lakers. Via Adam Hiimmelsbach of The Boston Globe:
Minnesota Center Gorgui Dieng said Garnett frequently brings up his time with the Celtics, particularly the one season that got away.
"He always talks about the  Finals they lost," Dieng said.
"I think he can't swallow that pill. He always talks about it. You can see how angry he is when he talks about that Finals."
In 2010, the Celtics took a 3-2 series lead over the Lakers before dropping the final two games in Los Angeles. Ding said it is clear how that series still grates at Garnett.
"They were great and they were going to win it," Dieng said, "and he still doesn't understand why they lost."
Dieng also added that Garnett never talks about his own accomplishments when he talks about his time with the Celtics:
Although Garnett often talks about his Celtics teams, Dieng said he rarely discusses his own accomplishments and emphasizes how important he is to their young team's development:
"Sometimes I'll just say, 'I saw you did this against this guy,' and he'll just start laughing," Dieng said. "He's like, 'Yeah, I was just young. I was this and that.' But he's such a good vet to have."
Even though Garnett has not had much of an impact in games this season, Dieng said he has been an invaluable resource, particularly at practices.
"He'll show us different moves, how to guide your man defensively on the block, the need to talk," said Dieng, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds in Monday's win. "That's most important, like how to communicate with your teammates. He always emphasizes that."
"The league is all about confidence, and I think he's gonna help you get your confidence a lot. He always talks to you like you're the best player in there, which is very good for a young team like this."
It's honestly not a surprise to hear that the Big Ticket still talks about losing to the Lakers in the 2010 Finals. Celtics fans all over the world, including myself, still refer to that Game 7 as being one of the most crushing losses in the franchise's history. It will forever be one of those "the one that got away" games that people will always talk about in terms of how much it would have added to the legacy of the modern Big Three of the Celtics with Garnett, Pierce and Allen.
It's great to hear that KG still raves about his time in Boston and how much it meant to him. He was one of the most passionate and polarizing figures in the history of Boston sports. Garnett giving credit and praise to his teammates for their success just adds to how much of a team player he really was in his time here.
For Minnesota, to have his presence in the locker room is invaluable. Garnett acts like a kind of "de-facto" coach considering his lack of playing time. You already see how much he's influenced and taught rookie Karl-Anthony Towns, as he's become one of the best young big men in the NBA.
While no one for sure knows whether or not this season is Garnett's last, all signs point to a likely retirement for the future Hall of Famer after this year. As one of the most unique players in NBA history, Garnett's place and legacy in the NBA will never be forgotten. Celtics fans will especially never forget the six amazing seasons that KG spent here and the championship banner he helped raise in 2008.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Follow Kevin Yazhari on Twitter: @KevKevYazhari Kevin Yazhari 2/25/2016 11:48:00 AM Tweet Edit