For those that missed Avery Bradley’s comments after the game last night, it appears that Kevin Garnett recorded an inspirational voice message that the team listened to before the game.
I don’t know exactly why this story gives me such joy. Perhaps it is the nostalgia of days gone by. Maybe it is just that I still love Kevin Garnett so much. Or perhaps it is the way Garnett bridged the gap between the good ol’ days and today’s team. I’m sure it is a mix of all of those reasons and more.
Regardless, though I haven’t seen heard the recording myself, I’m super pumped just thinking about what it could have said.
Kevin Garnett had seen the Celtics stumble through those two somewhat perplexing losses. He had seen that the Celtics were playing with no joy, not excitement.
So he sent the voice text message to Lacerte, and it was just as lively and expletive-filled as one might expect. Lacerte played it for Avery Bradley, the only current Celtic to play with Garnett. Bradley then had to play it for Isaiah Thomas, and Thomas decided that the entire team needed to hear it. It needed the message.
The effect couldn’t have been more clear.
"It kind of energized us a little bit before the game and it reminded us of what we're playing for and what the Celtics stand for. ... It's funny because he was our leader when he was here. He's still part of this Celtics family. For him to go out of his way to send us a message like that, that means a lot to all of us.
Granted, the Celtics shouldn’t have needed this kind of motivation being down two games to none. In fact, they shouldn’t have needed any motivation heading into the playoffs.
Perhaps this team just needed someone loud and hyper-pumped to give them some juice. There are good leaders on this team, but most of them lead by example and work ethic. Thomas is normally pretty happy and vocal, but probably has been more subdued this week (for completely understandable reasons). Al Horford is more Tim Duncan than Kevin Garnett. Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, and Jae Crowder are driven and focused, but I don’t know if they could be considered motivational speakers. Even the head coach is reserved and even keeled.
All that balanced focus is wonderful and good, but every once in a while you need a swift kick in the butt to get you moving. Sometimes when you are down, you need a drill sergeant pushing you beyond the limits that you thought you couldn’t overcome.
Kevin Garnett is a Celtic. He may have been drafted and retired with the Wolves, but he’s a Celtic through and through, and last night he proved that he can still help the team win playoff games. Thanks Kevin.