Friday, November 14, 2014

Rooting Hard For Kevin Garnett

I know it is hard to fathom watching him today, but Kevin Garnett used to be a top 5 player in the NBA for a lot of years.  And he busted his ass every single night for Minnesota, with very little love for the things he was doing up here - particularly defensively.  I doubt that I have ever seen a player anchor his team more on both ends of the floor.  Even LeBron is not the defensive anchor that Garnett was in his prime.

That said, it is sad to see KG struggle so hard to play at a decent level today.  Starting last year, KG seemed a certainty to pass Oscar Robertson and Artis Gilmore on the all-time Win Shares list.  But then KG put up an almost laughably awful 1.2 WS for the entire season last year, leaving him short of both guys.

Counting in KG's 0.2 WS this year, he is now still 9th on the all-time NBA-ABA combined Win Shares list:

6.Tim Duncan192.20
7.Artis Gilmore*189.65
8.Oscar Robertson*189.21
9.Kevin Garnett188.64
10.Dirk Nowitzki186.23
11.Shaquille O'Neal181.71
12.Julius Erving*181.11
13.Moses Malone*179.15
14.David Robinson*178.67
15.Charles Barkley*177.21
16.Reggie Miller*174.40
17.Kobe Bryant173.13
18.LeBron James169.22

KG just needs a lousy 0.58 WS to pass The Big O and 1.02 WS to pass Artis.  He will never catch Duncan, but I would really like to see him play well enough to reach these extremely modest goals.   Sadly for KG, some of the guys behind him (Dirk, Kobe, LeBron) show no signs of retiring any time soon, so KG will probably end up around 10th in any event, but I have long loved KG as a player, and he deserves to be recognized as an all-time great.  Come on, KG, get that 1.02 WS that you need!


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