This whole thing in Minnesota last night just makes me sad.
Today the series of tubes is littered with criticisms of the pre-game tribute to Garnett. No, not for doing it, not for spending so much time on it, but that it wasn't enough. This, to me, is the equivalent of of you throwing a surprise party for your ex that ran off with someone hotter, or a company throwing a banquet awards dinner for someone that made your company better but not great for a long time, then went and turned the crappy store down the street into a Fortune 500 company. And then the employees complaining the next day that the trophy wasn't big enough.
This is not to say that I don't think the Wolves should have done the tribute. I can understand wanting to recognize the greatest player in the history of your franchise in his first trip back, even if he's not playing. I can understand wanting to say "Thanks for all the memories and the effort you gave."
And it's not to say that I blame KG for leaving. A player spends his entire career working to win a championship, and when you reach that point where you realize it won't happen with the franchise you're with, you have to go where you can have that opportunity. And it's not like El Tigre didn't give it his best shot. He committed to them, and did everything he could to get them there. When it became apparent that the core they'd gotten to the WCF with was not getting it done, it was McHale's job to get him the supporting players. He didn't, and so Garnett had to go. The argument will eternally be made that it was not Garnett's fault that they never advanced to the Finals, and that they only had one season of playoff success. We pinpoint this exact deficiency on TMac. We blamed Paul Pierce for this for years. Yet with KG, it's just a travesty that he was surrounded by mediocre players. Just sayin'. But again, I don't blame KG for leaving, just wish people would be more consistent with their criticisms.
However, what I do have a problem with this is this worship that's been bestowed upon KG in the last week by Minnesota, a sentiment that's been supported by everyone, mainstream media and the blogosphere. It was appropriate for him to get a video package, a recognition from the fans for all the hard work he put in. But really? You want more? You want more than a minute? Why?
This just makes me sad for the Wolves' fans. Phenomenal TWolves blog TWolves Blog (they're nothing if not direct) had this to say about the game:
"A few things that I didn’t like about how they did KG’s appearance/tribute: 1) They did it too early in the introductions. Due to the unnatural conditions of the walkways and entrances in Target Center (aka an actual sellout), people were still trying to file in when KG walked out onto the court. There were quite a few empty seats, because many people had not been able to get to their seats in time. That was a shame, and I wish they could have waited a little longer. However, I do understand that it’s not easy (or usually allowed) to switch around the player introductions and a game start time. 2) Couldn’t they have allowed the fans to clap and cheer for more than one measly minute? I mean, come on. Seriously? We could have cheered for him longer if they wouldn’t have ushered him off the court. Then again, I guess this goes back to actually starting the game on time. Would anyone really have cared if the game started five minutes later? Perhaps the TV people might have cared I guess. Regardless, it was a good appearance, but it just seemed sort of rushed. Also, they didn’t really announce it too well, as KG just suddenly appeared walking out of the tunnel before anyone really knew what was happening. I guess I’m nit-picking though. It was certainly much better than him not making the trip at all. Last thing about KG, there were infinitely more Boston KG jerseys than Minnesota KG jerseys. I just thought that was pretty interesting."
This feels like a kid asking the bully that stole his lunch money to buy a new toy take a little more time in showing off the shiny new bike he bought with the money. KG played for you. He did not win you a championship, for whatever reason. He was traded for Al Jefferson and nothing else. Now all of a sudden he's an MVP candidate again and looking at a title? And you're supposed to be MORE happy about this? You have every right to celebrate the greatest player in Wolves history, but let's keep it in perspective. You still have a team. It's a team that's improving. It's got a dynamic, talented young big man. It's starting to piece together a some good play. And the opposite team? Yeah, it celebrated like it won the Finals when it knocked off your rebuilding team, including your beloved star popping his jersey like he owns you.
I'm just sayin'.
Last night the Wolves nearly beat them again, and yet, more fans in the stands had on Celtics jerseys than Wolves jerseys. Is your fanbase that fickle? Are you more committed to the man than the team? Minnesota needs to get together, collectively (in the figurative sense), say "Okay, he was great, we've told him so, let's move on. " Then they need to stand up for themselves. They have two great young players, some decent role players, cap room, some draft picks, and a bright future. And even if they had none of that, they still have a team. And regardless of the morons in charge, it's still your team.
Garnett's gone. You've gotten closure. Quit paying homage to the tyrants.