NBA coaches have been tripping over themselves to compliment Kevin Garnett after he announced his retirement last week.
This is an understandable reaction after such a long career with numerous accolades in the association.
Both the Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers and Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue have offered the future Hall-of-Famer a possible seat on their benches this season.
There have been many great players to grace the hardwood over the years. But, what makes KG a great candidate to become a coach?
Time has proven that some great players are ill-suited for life as coaches after dominating in the NBA.
However, for every Magic Johnson there seems to be a Larry Bird who becomes a wonderful coach. Here are the defining factors that will make The Big Ticket a successful member on any staff:
The 40-year-old was, by all accounts, one of the hardest working superstars in league history. He constantly tried to improve his game through physical preparation.
He was nicknamed Da Kid during his early tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Drafted right out of High School, he was a rail thin project.
Even though he was considered a gamble, he took on that adversity and became one of the most durable superstars that fans had ever seen.
Becoming a physically imposing force doesn’t happen overnight. He could definitely instill some of his work ethic in the younger players under him.
We all know about the headbutting ritual before games where KG stands in front of the backboard stanchion. But, in the days since his retirement we have heard accounts of his other mad behavior.
This is a man who would mumble to himself when he made mistakes and yell at himself when he did well. He would hit himself in frustration on the court multiple times a season.
Any team featuring the power forward was forced to take on a measure of his menace and attitude on the court. He expected all of his teammates to share his demeanor and focus.
Any locker room he was a part of as a coach would undoubtedly follow suit. A little structure never hurt anyone and with a legend in the midst there would be plenty to go around.
The true test of a champion is always referred to in terms of wanting it more than the opposition.
No body that played against the Celtics during the “Big Three”-era wanted to win more than Boston’s defensive anchor.
He was a whirling dervish in the paint that whipped their attack into a frenzy. If you were known as a minus defender when you arrived, then you would have to become better.
Garnett held on so long because he really loves basketball. This isn’t his job, this is his life. If you were next to him, it better be yours as well.
That kind of passion can be hard to get out of players depending on the team situation but, with him on the sideline, you can bet that his team wouldn’t be lacking for passion.