Kevin Garnett

Just a reminder: Kevin Garnett is lucky, made a lot of money


Business Insider posted a fascinating graph today:


Just to remind you that not only has Kevin Garnett won a lot of basketball games and been a hero in Boston, he has been well compensated for his efforts. This graph represents just salary, not endorsements (which is where Jordan slaughters everyone who ever played the game). From Business Insider.

Garnett started by turning pro before the NBA banned high school players. He was also a 19-year old rookie at time when the NBA granted free agency to players after just three years. This led to Garnett signing a $126 million contract extension during his third season, and just prior to NBA rules changed rookie contracts.

And then in 2003, Garnett signed a $100 million extension with the Timberwolves just before the NBA changed the salary cap rules in 2005. This has a led to a career earnings that dwarfs those of other players.

LeBron James may never pass KG because of the new salary cap structure and because I’m not sure he plays 17 years. KG has the passion to do that and bring it every night for that long and more years to go. Does LeBron?

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.