We here at P&T operate under a set of guiding principles -- two of the most important being the belief that Kristaps Porzingis is an infallible star-child and Kevin Garnett is a shit-eating weasel.
Never have those two dichotomous thoughts come into such stark relief as when we read this anecdote from ESPN's Jackie MacMullan about the time KG sabotaged a Boston Celtics practice session in 2009 when he refused an order from coach Doc Rivers to sit out:
Garnett, forbidden to take the floor by his own coach, had concocted his revenge: He would track the movements of power forward Leon Powe, the player who had replaced him in the lineup. As Powe pivoted, so did Garnett. As Powe leaped to grab a defensive rebound, Garnett launched himself to corral an imaginary ball. As Powe snapped an outlet pass, Garnett mimicked the motion, then sprinted up his slim sliver of sideline real estate as Powe filled the lane on the break. The players were mirror images: one on the court with a full complement of teammates, the other out of bounds, alone. Two men engaged in a bizarre basketball tango.
"KG," Rivers barked, "if you keep doing this, I'm canceling practice for the whole team. That will hurt us."
What work ethic! What a team player! And not at all narcissistic, petty or delusional! I can just see Garnett gesturing wildly from the sidelines, playing his own version of charades:
Garnett: "Coach! Coach! Who am I? Try and guess!"
Rivers: "Uh ... Leon Powe?"
Garnett: "Who am I now, Coach?"
Rivers: "Stop it, KG, we're trying to practice."
Garnett: "Pay attention to meeeeee!"
Now compare that embarrassing display to this preseason, when the Knicks held young Kristaps out as a precautionary measure. Now, everyone knows Zingis Khan is harder than a month-old piece of Ūdens kliņģeri, and the kid was dying to prove himself. This is what he said at the time:
"I'm telling them every day: ‘I want to get back, want to get back.' They're taking care of me. They know what they're doing. It's their job.''
Sources tell me that Kristaps had purchased a lifelike Lou Amundson wig -- made from the hair of surfers -- and was ready to run up and down the court, parroting Amundson's post moves and speaking in an American accent: "Hey there, fellow Americans! After practice, let's watch the American football match and slurp down glasses of high-fructose corn syrup!"
But then a funny thing happened: the 20-year-old rookie realized that ignoring his coaches and causing a scene during practice might not, in fact, help the Knicks. So he sat out.
This has been Part One of our 3249726-part series, "Why Kristaps Porzingis is superior to Kevin Garnett in every way." Stay tuned for more exciting adventures!