After his best season, Garnett has had a couple of rough years.
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On the SpotBy John Schuhmann
You could call them question marks. Or maybe X-factors. Call them whatever you want. These guys have something to prove this season. NBA.com gives you 10 players (in alphabetical order) who will be under the microscope in 2006-07. For various reasons, all eyes are on them.
Next up is Kevin Garnett.
Kevin Garnett, F, Timberwolves
This is a big year for Kevin Garnett.
After an MVP award and a trip to the Western Conference Finals, the Big Ticket and the Timberwolves have fallen on hard times, missing the playoffs for the last two years, including an ugly 33-49 finish last season. KG didn't demand a trade, but he made it known that he needed a better supporting cast and he inferred that if things don't get better soon, his patience might run out.
Mike James and Randy Foye were brought in, giving the Minnesota backcourt a lot more firepower. But no matter who his teammates are, a top-10 player in the league and perennial All-Star starter should always have his team in playoff contention. At 30 years old, KG is at a pivotal point in his career.
No one will ever question Kevin Garnett's desire. But another trip to the lottery might make people question his results.
What the Papers Say
"The dwindling days of April were the worst; Garnett sat out the final last games with what was termed "tendinitis" rather than endure the team's backpedaling to a better draft position. He didn't talk with Twin Cities reporters over the final 10 days, went into his usual media blackout for a few months, then levied some familiar but fresh shots in a national magazine piece in August."
-- Steve Aschburner, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"There's no doubt last season took its toll on Kevin Garnett. He didn't display his usual emotion during some games. Had Garnett lost some of his competitive fire? So far this preseason, the Timberwolves all-star forward has shown no signs of slowing down. He has shouted encouragement to teammates, pumped his fists and sworn on occasion.
"Looks like the same ol' Kevin Garnett."
What the Blogs Say
"No one doubts that he wants to win and he often plays like he does. However, Ticket is now 30 and about to start his 12th season in the NBA with no rings to show for it. It's a situation he wants to immediately remedy. He got the veteran leadership he requested and has expressed excitement about the chemistry and potential for the year. Having a revved up, hungry KG is a good way to start the season."
-- I Heart KG
"For the last decade, KG's career has been about promise and heartbreak. Each year Kevin goes out and posts amazing numbers, averaging at least 22 points and 13 rebounds per game for the last four seasons (and 20 and 11 over his eleven year career). He's been remarkably durable, missing just 9 games since the 2000 campaign. But he's also had to deal with intense failure, at least by his standards. As he makes clear below, the only reason he's playing is because he wants to win a championship; yet in the real world, in eight trips to the playoffs, KG's Timberwolves have escaped the first round just once, and that 2004 trip to the Western Conference Finals is the closest he's ever been to the NBA Finals."