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Paul Nicholson
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

what could have been

With all the talk today of the Garnett to Boston trade, i am reminded of what could have been. What should have been.

Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan should have been the Bird/Magic rivalry of this era. They are the two most fundamentally sound, super-star talented players in the league. They are in a contest every year for who will run up more double-doubles, and are capable of playing inside, outside, and are - and this is key to setting them apart from others in the league - great defenders.

They are the same age (though Garnett skipped college so he's got more years as a pro) and are mirror images of one another in many ways. Both wear number 21. Both are 7-footers with deceptive speed...the comparisons go on and on.

Yet thanks to commissioner David Stern's love for big-market showboating superstars, both of these stars were overlooked by the media in favor of Kobe, Shaq, Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, and players like that. Minnesota and San Antonio are not 'big markets' and Duncan and Garnett don't trash-talk enough. So the media didn't maximize their coverage. Combine that with Garnett's team's poor performance (due to his lack of a supporting cast and mediocre coaching), and these two are rarely mentioned in the same sentence these days.

Who knows, now that Garnett is moving to the east, with more of a supporting cast and a bigger market, we'll get a little Kevin vs. Tim. Of course...the league's marketing machine has already moved on to the next generation with LeBron vs Wade.
I just think that would have been a good rivalry. Something that might have been and wasn't.

By the way, i also love this article about the trade today, describing it as Kevin McHale's last great contribution to the Celtics (he's the GM for Minnesota).

1 comment:

MWilson said...

Yeah, I always thought that Duncan-Garnett was such a major matchup, yet it seemed that nobody ever really seemed to care about them going against each other.

The funny thing is, with the revamped Celts and Kobe with the Lakers, the Lakers-Boston rivalry has some zing to it again — but Kobe wants to be traded.

I do have to admit that I wonder if this deal was something pushed for by the NBA brass to take away from the sting of the ref scandal.