Walking down 5th Ave. yesterday I saw it for the first time. It was hard; harder than I thought it was going to be. I’ve actually thought this might be the best thing for a while now. Still, when someone close to you leaves, even if you know it’ll be good for them—and that in the end is all we really want for those we love, right? —it still stings when you see the reality of the situation. It all becomes too real. They’ve moved on and you’ve now bared witness. And you are left to walk the streets of this uncaring world all alone.
So, as I walked down 5th Ave., as the workers from all those buildings came out to join the tourists in the early evening hours, me hovering somewhere in between the two, my stride was taken instantly away, I became a rock in a stream as the current of human existence flowed around me. I was Still Life on Fifth. All because of what I saw in that window, with all its heart-wrenching realness. Because of what I saw in the window of the NBA Store at 666 5th Ave.
There it was: the green number 5 jersey with shorts to match, a little white four-leaf clover resting between the shoulder blades of a mannequin facing away from the street. It didn’t even have his name on it yet, but I knew what would be there: Garnett.
Kevin Garnett had been a Celtic for six days. He would be wearing number 5. And now that number 5, along with what it meant, came and slapped me upside the head on 5th.
It’s hard to say for sure the worst thing Kevin McHale has done while he has been Vice President of Basketball Operations at 600 First Avenue North. It could have been including a draft pick in the Cassell/Jaric deal. Or maybe it’s his complete inability, despite being one of the greatest low-post players in NBA history, to develop skilled low-post players for the Timberwolves (Michael Olowo… copyright Dan Cole). Who knows, the list is just too long. But this has to be up there. Not necessarily the trading of KG, but the trade itself.
There have been numerous KG trade speculations over the last two years and one can’t say for sure which hold any truth. Still, when reliable sources tell us that the T-wolves could have gotten Allen Iverson, but didn’t because of their refusal to part with Randy Foye—a promising young guard, who has shown glimpses of leadership, but still, he’s no AI—or that Chicago has coveted KG for years & put combinations of players including Luol Deng on the table or even when Boston, just a couple of months ago, was willing to part with a high draft pick and the Pups end up with what they got…well, it all makes you wonder how someone with such a lack of business savvy could retain his high-profile job. McHale is apparently incapable of actually conducting business, preferring instead to just make friendly deals with his ol’ pal and ex-teammate Danny Ainge.
As hard as it is to stomach for T-wolves fans, it may have been time for KG to move on. I know that the Wolves don’t “owe” The Big Ticket anything. He has been compensated severely well & that is the only agreement to which they are obligated. Still, I want to see Da Kid win a championship. And in my opinion the Timberwolves organization continuously failed to surround the All-Star with the right players to accomplish that end. Because of such botched business acumen I find that I have become more of a KG fan than a Timberwolves fan. It’s just hard for me to support such a laissez-faire attitude apparently adopted in the front offices at Target Center. For this reason I want to see KG win a championship before I would want the Wolves to go all the way. Still, I wouldn’t have minded seeing a deal where both parties came off looking like winners, instead of one team looking like the laughing stock of the NBA, and justifiably so. But, it’s more obvious now than ever that Kevin McHale is not capable of making such a deal.
So, there I was, on 5th staring at number 5, wondering how things could have gone so awry. How could it all be over? How could we have come this far for this? And as all those people flowed past me, I came to terms with it all. KG is a Celtic. He has a chance to win there. He seems happy. And that in the end is all KG fans can ask for. Maybe next time I walk down that street I’ll go in and pick up one of those green jerseys. But yesterday I just moved on. It’s going to take some time.
Related Articles & Audio:
Bill Simmons shows what a joke Kevin McHale is.
Barreiro's Blog. I disagree with a lot of Dan Barreiro's opinions on KG, but I respect the hell out of him, and here we are actually pretty close in our thoughts on the matter.
MPR Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer talks with The Rake's Brit Robson.
*Click HERE, then on the "AUDIO" tab to listen to M. Ward's "Chinese Translation," which is the soundtrack to KG being traded.
When You Get Bored Here, Go Here:
- David Luke Doody
- David Luke Doody is a freelance writer and editor. He is a founding editor of InDigest Magazine (www.indigestmag.com), an online literary magazine and the blog editor for Guernica Magazine (www.guernicamag.com). His writing and interviews have appeared in those magazines as well as in The Huffington Post, mnartists.org, The Minnesota Twins Yearbook, and Intentionally Urban Magazine, among others.
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