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Is KG Quietly Gone?

He’s known for his mouth
“Anything is Possible”
Now Quiet Goodbye

He’s a catchphrase, but not a cliché. He’s the hard-working player who talks a lot on the court, but doesn’t really want to talk off it. He’s a ritual and a new ritual is coming. Knowing that, is he also gone?

He’s a bit of a contradiction. He’s a nice guy who curses regularly. He’s famous for talking, but really only in his circle. He verbally pushes teammates; he physically and verbally antagonizes opponents. He quietly brushes by fans.

He’s “Da Kid” and he’s done it for 20-plus years. He has earned league-wide respect. And when he talks about it all, he doesn’t talk about himself.

If you’re a fan waiting pre- or post-game, you see a different guy than on TV. You see the contradiction. He’s a quiet guy who looks down as he goes by. He’s his own man walking quietly by in a black suit covering a simple black t-shirt. That’s “The Franchise?”

Is he shy? You might think so. But it’s really more about being private. So he’s an all-star sports star who wants his business personal.

We all remember his public moments. I was there when he jumped on the table to celebrate a game 7 victory. It was a public display of a private man. I was watching when he was speechless, then preaching.

Now, I still watch him. I still ponder the contradiction of KG. And I watch him quietly walk into the locker room wondering if he will return.

 

Special KG Moments:


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Kobe and KG – The Career, The Endings

Work Leads to Wins, Rings
Hoisting the Trophy. Now time
for the next youngsters.

#KB20 is trending. You can buy shirts and hats with the logo celebrating his final season. KG21 shirts and jerseys are still available, celebrating his return to Minnesota.

Kobe and KG are two great players who are “starting” on young squads, but nursing decades of intensity-causing injuries. And I think both are retiring. It’s so strange how they are so similar, yet so different.

One of the strangest items in my sports collection is a reversible KG and Kobe jersey. It’s blue on one side and yellow on the other. When it came out, I was amazed. Two young high schoolers who had successfully “made it” in the NBA. Now many years later, I’m amazed how similar their careers actually have been.

Both players made an insane amount of money and both won titles (Kobe has 5, but KG has the honor of taking one from Kobe – which might’ve motivated him greatly afterwards).

Now both are the ‘face of the franchise’, but both can clearly see in their rear view mirror that ‘next’ is truly visible and imminent.

Kobe is playing games in-between rest for his shoulder. He’s embarking on a farewell tour and suddenly, the villain is being cheered as a hero. ESPN SportsCenter covers his goodbye moments nightly.

KG is out. He hasn’t played since January 23rd in a win over Memphis. Since then, he’s been quietly “inactive.” There’s  a great tribute song about his 2016 season by Timberwolves The Podcast at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYW0qiEde_E. I hear that song today and feel blessed to have been there.

Now, it seems both are bowing out at the same time, though in very different ways. Both will have their numbers retired and that reversible jersey will have great significance for me. Did I see KG and Kobe’s last games in Minnesota in the same year? It’s strange, but possible.


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Keep the Family Together

We’re losing; change things! That’s the yell. “Stay the course” is the quiet reply.

Minimal change. Keep
the family together.
Shake it up later.

I don’t know the locker room, very few do. But I’m watching; I’m listening; I thinking.

It’s crazy for me to see the results in Minnesota and compare them to Los Angeles. The Wolves have the 4th worst record and are often playing teams tightly. They are young and fighting. The Lakers meanwhile have the 2nd worst record and have a tendency to be blown out. The announcers are not afraid to say the defense is lacking.

Both squads have a base of youth supported with aged vets. Both have a superstar on their way out. Both have fans yelling to fire the head coach.

But no one has been fired. I guess is both teams have an agenda: gain experience, create good habits, and win later.

Now we wait for later.