Did a new fan miss their "KG" moment last night?
By Stephen Litel
As I made my way towards the Timberwolves locker room before the game, I noticed a gathering of people huddled around someone just outside the door. I stood in the back and moved around to see who it was and was rather surprised to see Kevin McHale fielding questions. This certainly grabbed my attention since McHale plays the role of the invisible man quite well.
When I moved closer, the first thing I heard was "... and he is not playing tonight." I whispered to Tom Hanneman, who was standing right next to me, "Who is he talking about?" When he answered with "KG," I just had to laugh. I stood there, listening and watching McHale blatantly lie to the media members' faces, although I know I should not expect anything less.
What is he going to say? "Yeah, we are doing everything in our power to tank the rest of our games. Therefore, we have decided that coming up with a bullshit story about an injury to Kevin Garnett would be our best course of action."
I just chuckled to myself as I walked away. All this comes days after Garnett himself said "I don't prepare every season to play 76, 70 games. If they want me to do that, then they'll have to come and ask me that themselves. But whenever I prepare, it's for 48-plus minutes. Nothing more. Nothing less than that. If they want to play the young guys and sit us down, then so be it, but tell me that ahead of time and be up front about it."
... and the Wolves didn't have the guts to change the scoreboard, revealing that Garnett was not playing, until 15 minutes before tip-off.
I had two friends at last night's game. My friend, Megan, was attending her first game of the season. My other friend in attendance, Jennifer, was at the game with both her husband and son. Jennifer's son could care less about the Timberwolves, but was excited for this game because he is a fan Dirk Nowitzki. He was not a happy little guy when I broke the news to him that Dirk did not even make the trip to the Twin Cities for this game, even though he is not injured.
In either situation, what a sad night that must have been. Megan battles the snowy weather to come to a game basically to support me. Jennifer, on the other hand, has been in attendance for other games, but is also treated with the same disrespect from the organization as Megan.
In either situation, the price of the ticket is largely due to promise of watching Kevin Garnett play the game in which he is a star. After such actions from the team to shut him down, whether they want to admit it or not, aren't my friends, along with any other fans at the Target Center entitled to a refund? Anyone who spent their hard-earned money on a ticket certainly did not expect to hand over their money, only to be followed with bad basketball and lies.
Driving home from the game, I thought back to an interview that I saw with the one and only Michael Jordan when he was still with the Bulls. The interviewer asked MJ why he never shut it down at the end of the season, even though his teams had wrapped up home court advantage throughout the playoffs. His answer was amazing.
"Each and every night, there is probably one person in the stands who is attending their first Bulls game. Who knows? For that one person, this may be the only chance they'll ever have for a 'Michael Jordan moment.' This may be the only time they get to ever see me play... so, I play for that person."
So, that is why I truly hope that Kevin Garnett is injured. I honestly hope that the fans were lied to last night by both McHale and Glen Taylor and they decided to shut Garnett down, not the other way around. Nobody should be surprised by the level of selfishness anymore on their end, but Garnett has always given everything he has to his fans. Don't tell me that if Kevin Garnett was healthy (or reasonably close to it) and wanted to play that McHale or Taylor could really do anything to stop him.
Otherwise, if Garnett has decided to join forces with the front office and be a part of a lie, he let that one person down tonight... and a lot of other people.
By Stephen Litel