Found June 10, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
On March 31, Minnesota wanted so much. Too much. No matter that Kevin Garnett had taken the Target Center court three times already as a Celtic. No matter that he'd been gone for five years; that he should have been more a memory than a source of such crippling insecurity. He was still Kevin Garnett, after all, but these were different desires, different hopes for the man who was once the Timberwolves' greatest hope. This time would be different. This time, there were fewer fans with those seven letters on the backs of their outdated jerseys. This time, they'd replaced Garnett with a new Kevin, a Kevin who was set to prove, head-to-head, that he was better. This time, Garnett was finally old. And then Garnett waltzed into Minneapolis, still feeding off the derogatory comments he'd made earlier that week about the Timberwolves franchise, propelled by the smattering of boos among the cheers and the implications at every turn that he and his Celtics had passed their prime. With all that coursing through his ancient, calcifying, 35-year-old veins, Garnett posted his best performance in Minnesota since leaving, 24 points and 10 rebounds a wagging finger at any and all who had written him off. As it was for so many years, it was again KG's house. For a night, youth was nothing more than immaturity, and age was deadly. But whatever Garnett proved that night in Minnesota went beyond just one game. It was one of the first hints of something revitalized, a Celtics team that was more than just passably good. When the Celtics arrived in Minnesota that Friday night in March, they were 28-22, tied for first in the Atlantic Division with the 76ers and for sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Timberwolves, still reeling from and not yet doomed by Ricky Rubio's ACL tear, had just three fewer wins. It could have been a game. But then Garnett and company arrived. Then a 35-year-old guarded his 12-years-younger supposed successor better than anyone had all season, holding Love to 22 points in the final game of a month when he averaged 30.7. The Celtics won by 21, 100-79, and in hindsight now we can say of course they did. But back then, with their window supposedly closing and their team supposedly faltering, the Celtics looked like all they'd built might have been eroding. From March 30 on, the Celtics went 11-5 to end the regular season, pushing them into the top spot in their division and fifth place in the conference. After averaging 15.6 points and 8.1 rebounds in his first 47 games, Garnett averaged 18.2 points and 9.6 rebounds to end the year. He had 2008 stuff, at least for a while. Now, even as Boston's season ends with their 101-88 loss to the Heat, it's hard not to call what it accomplished a success. Garnett might not see it that way, not with his intensity, but if this were an individual competition, he might just have won. Look at the raw emotion on Doc Rivers' face when he took his center out of the game in its final seconds. This guy means something. His career means something. Forget that Garnett scored just 12 and then 14 points in the Celtics' final two losses. It pales in comparison to the statement he made in the season's final month. KG was not finished. Not yet. That game against Minnesota looks a lot like the perfect turning point for Garnett. In one game, he trumped his past and affirmed his present. It was the third straight night he'd scored 20 or more points -- the first time he'd had three such games in succession all season -- and he had 20-plus point nights in five of his final 12 games. In the playoffs, he's averaged even better, 19.2 points and 10.3 rebounds, and as the Celtics advanced through three rounds, they seemed far from hobbled old men. But somehow, they can't shake that rap. No matter how many points they score, how much Rajon Rondo might distract everyone, how freakishly the years and strain can disappear from Garnett's limbs and joints, they're still old. More than one news outlet ran picture this week of the Celtics that were tinted green. It's the team's color, of course, it gave them a sickly sheen, an almost alien-like hue. Now that they're eliminated, it's the tinge of disease and old age, but if the Celtics had won, it would have been something superhuman. It's all so much clearer than it should be, the nuances eliminated by the black and white of winning and losing. Garnett must hate it. He doesn't want a new identity. He already has one, a fierce, emotionless, stoic faade he's built throughout his career. He's fueled by the anger of proving himself as better, better, better. He insults his former team for no apparent reason. He's intensely private, aloof. This is the public persona of Kevin Garnett, and he thrives on it. If anything, Garnett is the villain. He's not the crotchety old man, not the sweet grandfather, either. Garnett doesn't fit within the parameters of decline, but LeBron James and the Heat have stolen the role that's always been his. They're the villains. They have something to prove. The spotlight is theirs to manipulate at will. They're the doers; the Celtics just react, claiming whatever fringe territory they can from the team America loves to hate. And so Garnett gets to be old. He gets to be a cloying has-been. He can be everything the Heat cannot by virtue of their relative youth and (disappearing) novelty. Against the Heat, it's LeBron, LeBron, LeBron. It's hard to care about Garnett when James and his minions are on the court. The Heat lose -- it's James's fault. They win -- he's amazing, but he still isn't clutch, not yet. James is nitpicked to the extreme, and all Garnett must do are seconds-long postgame interviews about how he takes his craft seriously. We're supposed to see him as the underdog now, the sideshow, and Saturday's loss cemented that. But Garnett hasn't quite earned that role yet, and after a late-season performance that should have quashed all accusations of being past his prime, Garnett's final two games were a reminder that maybe this was a fluke. Maybe Garnett's resurgence couldn't last. That's not the craziest idea, but it doesn't override what happened for the last two and a half months. It doesn't take away from the fact that the Celtics matched the Heat until those final few minutes, that for a little while on Saturday, people dared to believe that Boston was heading to the Finals, in large part because of Garnett's late-season push. Kevin Garnett might be getting old. But Kevin Garnett is not old. Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.

Report: Rondo, Ray Allen had 'friction'

The Big Three era in Boston is likely over, and tension between Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo may be one of the main reasons for this. 

QuickVid: Kevin Garnett talks losing, breaks into tears

I am proud to be a Celtics fan today. I am proud KG is wearing green!  This may have been many years ago now but, even then, you can see the heart of a champion. You can see the fire and desire in the mans eyes, swelled with tears. LET’S GO CELTICS! (h/t Jay Asser)

Garnett, Rondo didn't shake hands with Heat after Game 7 (Video)

Boston Celtics stars Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo walked off the court after losing Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals without shaking hands with the Miami Heat. Garnett and Rondo had been subbed out of the game and were seen walking to the locker room before the final seconds had ticked off the clock. Guys, we understand that it hurts to lose, but it's...

Paul Pierce wants to retire with Kevin Garnett and more in NBA Daily Digest.

C’mon Man: Celtics future hall-of-famer Paul Pierce is not ready to let Kevin Garnett bow down to retirement just yet. After the team’s Game 7 defeat he told... To read this feature and watch press conference footage from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, please click the link below.

Celtics Live Blog: Kevin Garnett, C's Go for Knockout Blow of Heat in Game 7 in Miami

11:30 a.m. ET: This is it. The Celtics' season will either continue on to the NBA Finals, or end abruptly just five wins short of the organization's 18th championship. In what could be their final time on the court together as teammates, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen will lead the Celtics into the American Airlines Arena for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals...

Paul Pierce Hopes Kevin Garnett Sticks Around, Says He's 'Done Everything for My Career'

Kevin Garnett's biggest fan might be in the same locker room. As we get set for an interesting offseason that involves figuring out the futures of Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, we at least know exactly where Pierce stands on everything. The longtime Celtic made it clear after Saturday's Game 7 loss to the Heat that he wants another crack at a title with the Big Three...

Kevin Garnett, Michael Jordan Among Players Who Had to Wait to Win First NBA Championship (Videos)

Much has been made of LeBron James' failures, but the three-time NBA Most Valuable Player award winner is not the first superstar who needed some time to win his first championship. If James, at 27 years old and in his ninth season as a pro, captures the title with the Miami Heat this year, he would join a long list of stars who compiled a trophy case full of individual honors...

Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce Look Old, Tired in Finale, Meaning Bodies May Keep Them From What Hearts Want

Kevin Garnett has had injuries that have kept the Celtics from chasing titles. Paul Pierce has left a game in a wheelchair. Ray Allen redefined "hobbling" in the way he was moving around on the court at the end of this season and into the playoffs. But when the Big 3 of the Celtics took the floor most nights, they still looked like basketball players, like contenders, like...

Have Celtics BIG 3 Played their Last Game Together?

Have the Boston Celtic's Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce played their last game together? After this emotional exit during their game 7 loss Saturday night to the Miami Heat it sure feels like it: Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are both 36 years old and will be free agents this summer. The Celtics will be freeing up $42 million of cap space from all of their expiring contracts.

KG and TD teaming up in San Antonio?

They are the two premier big men of this era - San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan and Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett. Both have dominated the paint offensively and defensively, won NBA titles and garnered many accolades along the way. But now that the season is over and their NBA careers are coming to an end soon, could TD and KG be forming the next "Twin Towers" in San...

Boston Celtics: The End of the Pierce, Garnett, Allen Era

I was born in Massachusetts towards the end of the Larry Bird era. Never saw him play live. Only stepped inside of the old Boston Garden one time and it was to see Disney on Ice. There wasn't much of a reason for me to be a Boston Celtics fan. My dad was, so I was. The team didn't give me much of reason. The deterioration of Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish...

After Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's 'KJ and Hondo' comment, What Is His Best Blunder?

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has gotten a lot of laughs in this city over the last decade. Since Boston sports teams have been winning titles and making deep postseason runs, Menino is often asked his opinion and to give some predictions. Most recently, he mixed up Kevin Garnett's "KG" nickname and called him, "KJ." In the same interview, he said "Hondo...

Video: Lebron Steps Up in Game 6

This is what MVP’s do. When their team needs them and it’s win or go home, they rise up to the occasion, put their team on their back and get the W. Last night, Lebron James epitomized what it means to be an MVP. 45 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 win. The last stat is the only number that really matters for the Miami Heat as they get the critical game 6 victory, 98-79,...

Celtics fans chant ‘Let’s go Celtics!’ at the end of blowout Game 6 loss (Video)

In the span of about 10 minutes on Thursday night, Celtics fans showed how they can be some of the classiest and most classless fans in America. After the game, there was the bonehead fan who spilled his drink on LeBron James as he was heading to the locker room. LeBron hung 45 points on the Celtics and was the reason Miami won, so that particular fan obviously had no clue how to...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.