Andy Warhol once said that everyone at some point in their lives enjoys 15 minutes of fame. That’s wrought with irony, of course, as Warhol himself is towering and eternal figure in the art world. Whether experimenting with silk screening in its infancy or dabbling in music or movies, Warhol left a profound and lasting imprint on the world as we know it today. His 1963 painting Eight Elvises sold for $100 million in 2009. Say what you will, but Warhol remains a superstar of the highest order, this some 25 years after his death.
The NBA universe is much the same as the world that Warhol came to dominate; players come and go, enjoying their 15 minutes of fame, only to fade into obscurity, resurfacing only during discussions between diehard fans or as a question printed on a trivia card. And then there are those few that stand out above the rest, demanding our attention, captivating our imaginations.
Garnett was the biblical Moses, arriving in Boston and leading the faithful out of the wilderness and to the Promised Land. A 22-year title drought, easily the longest in franchise history? History.
Kevin Garnett is such a player.
Garnett is back in Boston this season, wearing a Celtics uniform that is so suited to him. No 15 minutes of fame for the Big Ticket; Garnett’s legacy, irregardless of the number of titles he wins, is secure and in a big way. Garnett was the biblical Moses, arriving in Boston and leading the faithful out of the wilderness and to the Promised Land. A 22-year title drought, easily the longest in franchise history? History.
Yes, having Garnett back in Boston is big for me. Not going to sit here and deny it. His accomplishments and accolades leave no doubt to his greatness and staying power. KG is our Warhol in many ways, the basketball court his canvas. And the beauty of it? Garnett isn’t through creating. He will bring that trademark intensity to the court this season and possibly beyond, and by all accounts he still has plenty of life in those legs of his. Is he the player that he once was? No, not even close – but give me KG at 70% before you give me half of the schmucks in this league – guys that will enjoy their 15 minutes of fame, never to be heard from again.
Trading for Garnett in 2008 proved to be Danny Ainge’s masterstroke, but all Ainge really did was purchase the canvas and the paint at the art store down the street. It was Garnett himself who created the culture that turned the Celtics into champions again, no small feat given the decades of hard luck and futility that dogged this franchise following Len Bias’ death in 1986. Yes, it was Garnett who brought the real genius to bear, imposing his will and creating his own pop art in a league of marginal players and questionable personalities.
So no matter what happens this year, I’ll be glued to the action because of the man who brings it all together.
KG, you are so much more than a mere 15 minutes of fame.
As Maximus in the movie Gladiator might say, what you have done for this team will echo an eternity.