Having returned from vacation, and only a few days late on our Kevin Garnett Day from last Wednesday (Oops…), I still wanted to give my contribution to the series.
I’ve told my story a couple of times in this space on how attending Kevin Garnett’s basketball camp as an eight year old made an impact on me as a basketball fan by hooking me for life. Having watched Garnett in his early years, then being able to attend his camp taught me a great deal about the game. Those lessons helped me as a player and coach, but also as a writer later on.
Every time that I’ve talked about Garnett’s camp and getting to walk around Hopkins High School with him, I’ve only had to reference the pictures. Because the return of Garnett to Minnesota was such a big deal, especially to someone like me, I placed a call to my Mom to dig out those pics. Now, I’m finally able to share those with the internet.
These are the memories I’ve always had of Garnett: the 22-year old budding superstar hanging around with a bunch of kids in the offseason. For me, its created a bit of a bias since these memories override some of Garnett’s actions that some might call “dirty.” To be honest, I’ve been just fine with this.
If it weren’t for this camp, I may still be a basketball fan, but it may not be to this extent. Memories like this cause people to develop ties and associations to things like sports teams that, in the grand scheme of things, don’t really matter. Garnett may not be returning to Minnesota to give the team elite production, but that hardly matters. Seeing Garnett in a Timberwolves jersey evokes fond memories like these that are unique and rare.
For Garnett and the Timberwolves, the reunion brings the two full-circle. But for me going from fan to covering Garnett, it feels like full-circle for me too.