Sept. 30, 2008 -- ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!

No Celtics player displayed more exhilaration at the conclusion of Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals than Kevin Garnett. The 13-year vet had finally quenched his thirst for a title with a little help from his new friends in Boston.

Now, it's going to take some effort to pry the Larry O'Brien trophy out of his arms.

Last week, Garnett, the cover athlete for NBA 2K9, was at the NBA Store for a media tour, promoting the game. caught up with him there to talk about rings and things. Doc Rivers believes you'll have a better year this season, because you'll be better acclimated to what your team is trying to do. Do you agree?
Kevin Garnett: I don't know in what sense he was talking on. I think I can always do better. In perspective, I think you have to always strive to be better. I'm no different from that.

But at the same time, with the team that I'm on, because of the options that we have, Doc wants me to be more aggressive than I am at times. Understand the flow of how chemistry works, you're gonna have to sacrifice some things. (Laughs) He would probably say I sacrifice too much. I think the way we work is because of the sacrifice, and I'll go with that.

Doc might be right in a perfect world, but in reality, it's not. But I can understand what he's saying. There's always room for improvement. Obviously, the motivation of getting that first ring was a big part of your success last season. What's the new motivation?
Garnett: Defending it. This is my first time defending it, just like it was my first time winning it. I've been through a couple of situations where the hunger increased, you're feeling like you almost made it, to not even being there. So, you grow a certain kind of hunger. Now that you've obtained something, the first thing that you want to do is keep it as long as you can, and be consistent with that. So, that's the new motivation.

Note: NBA Entertainment is producing a Kevin Garnett DVD to be released in the near future. For it, they were recently on the beach in the Los Angeles area with Garnett for his early morning run. I know that the NBAE crew was with you at 5:30 in the morning for a run on the beach recently. At 32 years old, is it tougher to stay in shape?
Garnett: You're probably older than I am. (Laughs) Not much. 33.
Garnett: It doesn't get any easier. I will say that. But when it comes to trying to better myself ... When it comes to keeping my body intact and trying to stay healthy, I think I do a pretty good job of that. Obviously, I'm human. I'm not Superman or none of that, but when I get back in the gym, start working out and start refocusing, I consider myself to be great at that. Because I know what it takes. I know you can't go at it 50 percent. Anything less than 100 is not acceptable. So, they jut got some footage of me being me every day, what I do in my regimen. Did you watch the Olympics?
Garnett: I watched some of it. The times... I've been part of the Olympics where it was on the other side of the world, so I already knew the times were gonna be crazy. I DVR'd a lot of the games. It seemed like they played with a purpose. It seemed very similar to the way the Celtics won. They played as a team and defense came first. Is that what you saw?
Garnett: Absolutely. I thought Dwyane Wade and [Kobe Bryant] set the tone from the giddy-up. Obviously, I knew having "Kob" and Jason Kidd there was gonna definitely up the level, just because J-Kidd knows what it takes to win. He and Gary Payton were vocal from Day 1 when we started our run back in 2000. And it was no shock that they won, I'll put it like that. Obviously, the big change with your team is the absence of James Posey. But the other side of that is an opportunity for Tony Allen to fill a larger role. What did you see from him last year?
Garnett: Tony was hurt. I don't think a lot of people understood that Tony was hurt. A lot of people didn't give him the due diligence I think, because of the injuries and respecting what he was before the injury. But more importantly, the responsibility comes down on all of us. It's a great opportunity for us to show some maturity and what we've learned from last year vs. being in a position of having Pose and Sam (Cassell, who recently re-signed) and some other seasoned guys that have been through some things. It's a great opportunity for us to show some maturity. I know you are a very focused individual on game days, and that you don't want to be bothered before a game. Someone once joked that you don't even talk to your wife on game days. But on Oct. 28, you're going to have your pre-game routine interrupted for the ring ceremony. Do you think you can handle that?
Garnett: It's my take that, when you do sacrifice your ritual or your pattern in which you do things, it's gotta be for the right things.

First off, don't believe everything you hear. (Laughs)

I was taught at an early age to be very focused and be prepared, and I don't take that lightly. But the ring ceremony is one of the rare situations where I can put that to the side and actually enjoy that. Because, like everybody knows, you don't get a lot of opportunities to do certain things in life. And I'm gonna embrace that. Your division got tougher this summer with Jermaine O'Neal coming to Toronto and Elton Brand coming to Philadelphia. Are those two of the tougher matchups you've had over the years?
Garnett: Absolutely. EB speaks for himself. The fact that he was able to come back from an injury, from an Achilles injury ... He's be one of the dominant power forwards in our league for a long time. He's done it on both coasts, both West and East. And he's probably looking like he needs to prove something to get Philly over the hump. I thought that was a big acquisition for them.

And JO in Toronto ... Toronto was already good and Chris Bosh is definitely the face of that franchise, so it's good to see them get him some help and not seeming like he's up there by himself. JO ... He's proven. He's been in this league for a while now. He's seasoned.

The thing that they all share is that they probably got something to prove to the world more than themselves, if anything. So, they're motivated, and any time you get a motivated individual, you have to be very, very locked in to that person. So, I anticipate them seeing us as, obviously, the pinnacle, and trying to make their team better. But those are maybe the biggest acquisitions of the summer, along with Artest in Houston. Are you a serious gamer?
Garnett: I'm a gamer. Absolutely. Daily. Whenever I get chance to get online and mess around. Video games for me are an escape ... maybe to be who I want, with whomever, in any sport .. almost. And 2K9 is no different.

The detailing of this... I'm a person who pays a lot of attention to detail. And these are the gods of of detailing in a video gaming right now. Especially with the way games are now, with how real everything looks and comes off, 2K does a great job of capturing that, from the sweat coming out of you to the beating of your chest. They got something called Live Rosters, where it follows each and every player in the league, his progress and how he's playing. So, if a guy's hot and you get on there, it's very consistent with that. If he's playing like crap and he's in a slump, you get on there and he's in a slump.

On top of that, they have the five-on-five online. Now, I can take four of my guys, and I can call Paul and he can get four of his guys, and we can be at it ... for days if we want to be. So, this is where it's at. This is the future. This is it right here.